People who have had a stroke can improve their limb function years later through practicing a task with their weaker limb. In this article, we provide findings on the effects of a single training session with a new ankle robot in people with stroke. Seven subjects with weakness from a stroke and seven nondisabled subjects participated in this study. Subjects played a video game for 1 hour by moving their ankles first without and then with the help of the robot. Subjects finished the session by repeating the task without the help of the robot. We found that training increased accuracy, speed, and smoothness of ankle movements in those with stroke but not nondisabled subjects. Moreover, these benefits were retained at 48 hours. These results suggest the ankle robot can help the weak ankle move more efficiently. It can also be used to examine the ability of the weak leg to relearn new tasks. Finally, our approach can be tailored to patients' needs in other settings.
Volume 48 Number 4, 2011
Pages 417 — 430
Last Reviewed or Updated Wednesday, May 11, 2011 11:41 AM