Volume 48 Number 4, 2011
Pages 355 — 366
Abstract — The successful motor rehabilitation of stroke patients requires early intensive and task-specific therapy. A recent Cochrane Review, although based on a limited number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), showed that early robotic training of the upper limb (i.e., during acute or subacute phase) can enhance motor learning and improve functional abilities more than chronic-phase training. In this article, a new subacute-phase RCT with the Neuro-Rehabilitation-roBot (NeReBot) is presented. While in our first study we used the NeReBot in addition to conventional therapy, in this new trial we used the same device in substitution of standard proximal upper-limb rehabilitation. With this protocol, robot patients achieved similar reductions in motor impairment and enhancements in paretic upper-limb function to those gained by patients in a control group. By analyzing these results and those of previous studies, we hypothesize a new robotic protocol for acute and subacute stroke patients based on both treatment modalities (in addition and in substitution).
Key words: cerebrovascular accident, hemiparesis, recovery of function, rehabilitation, robot, robotics, stroke, subacute therapy, training, upper limb.
Last Reviewed or Updated Tuesday, May 10, 2011 2:22 PM