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It's No Fortnite, But It's Helping Stroke Survivors Move Again
Severely impaired stroke survivors are regaining function in their arms after sometimes decades of immobility, thanks to a new video game-led training device invented by Northwestern Medicine scientists.
When integrated with a customized video game, the device, called a myoelectric computer interface (MyoCI), helped retrain stroke survivors' arm muscles into moving more normally. Most of the 32 study participants experienced increased arm mobility and reduced arm stiffness while they were using the training interface. Most participants retained their arm function a month after finishing the training.
The study will be published March 19 in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair.
Many stroke survivors can't extend their arm forward with a straight elbow because the muscles act against each other in abnormal ways, called "abnormal co-activation" or "abnormal coupling."
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At-Home Rehab Comparable To Clinic-Based Therapy To Improve Mobility
Home-based telerehabilitation is just as effective as clinic-based therapy at restoring arm function among stroke survivors, according to late-breaking science presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2019, a world premier meeting dedicated to the science and treatment of cerebrovascular disease for researchers and clinicians.
"Many patients receive suboptimal rehabilitation therapy doses after stroke due to limited access to therapists and difficulty with transportation," said the study's lead author Steven C. Cramer, M.D., M.M.Sc., a professor of Neurology, Anatomy & Neurobiology, and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation at University of California Irvine. "This can be addressed by telehealth, which enables patients to access high doses of rehabilitation therapy in their home."
Researchers conducted a randomized, assessor-blinded, non-inferiority t
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The Ups And Downs Of Sit-Stand Desks
Have a seat. No, wait! Stand. With researchers suggesting that "sitting is the new smoking," sit-stand desks (SSD) have become a common tool to quell sedentary behavior in an office environment. As this furniture becomes ubiquitous, conflicting opinions have arisen on its effectiveness. The University of Pittsburgh's Dr. April Chambers worked with collaborators to gather data from 53 studies and published a scoping review article detailing current information on the benefits of SSDs.
"There has been a great deal of scientific research about sit-stand desks in the past few years, but we have only scratched the surface of this topic," said Chambers, assistant professor of bioengineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering. "With my background in occupational injury prevention, I wanted to gather what we know so far and figure out the next steps for how can we use these desks to bette
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Seeing Through A Robot’s Eyes Helps Those With Profound Motor Impairments
An interface system that uses augmented reality technology could help individuals with profound motor impairments operate a humanoid robot to feed themselves and perform routine personal care tasks such as scratching an itch and applying skin lotion. The web-based interface displays a “robot’s eye view” of surroundings to help users interact with the world through the machine.
The system, described March 15 in the journal PLOS ONE, could help make sophisticated robots more useful to people who do not have experience operating complex robotic systems. Study participants interacted with the robot interface using standard assistive computer access technologies — such as eye trackers and head trackers — that they were already using to control their personal computers.
The paper reported on two studies showing how such “robotic body surrogates” – which can perform tasks similar to those of