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Here is your weekly NEWS-Line for Occupational Therapists & COTAs eNewsletter.  For the latest news, jobs, education and blogs, posted daily, bookmark  www.news-line.com/PO_home or to take NEWS-Line everywhere with you, save www.NEWS-Line.com to your phone. Also, enjoy the latest issue of the Occupational Therapists & COTAs magazine, always free.  Please "Like" NEWS-Line on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, and Pinterest. You can modify your subscription(s) using the links at the bottom of the page.


First Robotic System Plays Tic Tac Toe To Improve Task Performance

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Beer-Sheva, Israel have demonstrated for the first time the feasibility of a robotic system that plays Tic Tac Toe with rehabilitation patients to improve real-life task performance.

The interdisciplinary research team designed a game with a robotic arm to simulate "3D Functional Activities of Daily Living"--actions people undertake daily, like drinking from a cup, that are often a focus of rehabilitation. Click here to watch the video.

Designing a social robot to help rehabilitate a patient is a new field which requires much research and experimentation in order to determine the optimal conditions. The research was published in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience.

"Playing Tic Tac Toe with a set of cups (instead of X's and O's) is one example of a game that can help rehabilitate an upper limb," says Dr. Shelly Levy-Tzede

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Artificial Muscles, Robotic Grippers, Health Care Robotics

From a gripper equipped with gecko-inspired adhesives, to artificial muscles and robotic joints, to talks on human-robot interaction and health care robotics, the University of California San Diego will have a strong presence at the 2018 International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 21 to 25 in Brisbane, Australia.

The event is the flagship conference of the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society and a premier international forum for robotics researchers to present their work. Established in 1984 and held annually, the conference joins experts in the field of robotics and automation for technical communications through presentations and discussions. Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, is the co-chair of the conference’s government forum.

“The ICRA conference is the premier venue for presentation of robotics research and it is important

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Move It And Use It: Exergaming May Help Those At Risk Of Alzheimer's Or Related Dementia

Older adults with mild cognitive impairment (MCI), often a precursor to Alzheimer's, showed significant improvement with certain complex thinking and memory skills after exergaming, according to a new study.

The results could encourage seniors, caregivers and health care providers to pursue or prescribe exergames (video games that also require physical exercise) in hopes of slowing the debilitating effects of those with MCI, sometimes a stage between normal brain aging and dementia.

"It's promising data," said Cay Anderson-Hanley, associate professor of psychology at Union College and the study's lead author. "Exergaming is one more thing that could be added to the arsenal of tools to fight back against this cruel disease."

The study appears in the current issue of Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience.

Previously published research by Anderson-Hanley and others found that seniors who exer

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Simple Walking Test Helps Predict Risk For Cognitive Issues After Heart Surgery

The distance a patient can walk in 6-minutes before a heart operation may be a clue to whether that patient will develop problems with memory, concentration, and attention after the procedure, according to a study published online in The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.

Broadly speaking, a decline in cognitive performance after surgery is known as postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD). With POCD, a patient’s mental aptitude is weaker after surgery, resulting not only in a greater risk of complications, but also a lesser quality of life. Cognitive deterioration is increasingly recognized as a common occurrence after major surgery, especially among older adult patients.

“This study indicates that the easy and inexpensive 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) is a valuable assessment for identifying patients at a high risk for POCD,” said Kazuhiro Hayashi, PT, MSc, of Nagoya University Hospital

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