Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Positive research development for those facing a weakened hand

Stroke is the most common reason for adult disability in the United States - thousands each year have weakened limbs.

One area of research is electrical stimulation, and some positive news recently highlighted that innovative electrical stimulation glove improves hand function:
According to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, researchers at the MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation Center have developed a therapy whereby patients can be in control of the stimulation to their weak hand.
The electrical currents are delivered using a glove with sensors. By wearing the glove on their unaffected hand and opening their fingers, the affected side receives a similar amount of stimulation to open the weakened hand. This wearable technology put the patient back in control of their hand while enabling them to participate in electrical stimulation therapy.
"Based on positive findings from our previous studies, we sought to determine if the new glove-controlled hand stimulation therapy could be more effective than the common therapy in improving hand dexterity in patients who are more than six months past their stroke," says Jayme S. Knutson, Ph.D., senior author of the study and an assistant professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio.
Knutson and colleagues enrolled a total of 80 people who were survivors of stroke. The participants were divided into two groups. The first group received therapy using the new glove, and the second group received the standard treatment.
Read the link for more details, and keep in mind that this is just 80 stroke survivors with only 40 of those receiving this new treatment. So it's at an early, but positive, stage.

(Photo from the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation Center)

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