Wellington, May 19 : Auckland University researchers say that a new device they have created has shown some promise in improving the movement of patients affected by stroke.
The researchers say that the device is so small that it can be easily used at home.
They have revealed that it works by preparing the brain to be ready for self-directed physical therapy.
All that a patient is required to do is to place both his hands on to the device, and make repetitive movements-like turning the hands in and out.
"We use it to excite the stroke-affected side of the brain, so they achieve better control of the affected hand," Stuff.co.nz quoted Cathy Stinear of the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, who led the project, as saying.
According to the researchers, the key to success was mirror-symmetric actions and high repetitions.
"It's the thing that you do before your therapy, as opposed to it being the therapy," Stinear said.
During a study, several patients used the device three times a day for 10 minutes before practicing with the stroke-affected hand.
The participants saw a significant improvement in their hand movements after a month, revealed Dr. Stinear.
She said that the device may be commercially available in 2009.