In a nutshell
The aim of this study was to examine the effect of MyoCI training on arm recovery in patients who had a stroke. The main finding of the study was that MyoCI training reduced abnormal arm activation in these patients.
About 60% of stroke survivors have an arm impairment. This impairment is caused by weakness, muscles spasms and by an inability to perform coordinated movements. For example, normally when you want to pick something up, you use your bicep. When your bicep is activated, your triceps relax. However, after stroke, both biceps and triceps may be activated together. This abnormal co-activation limits arm movement.
Myoelectric Computer Interface (MyoCI) training is a specially developed computer program that targets this abnormal activation of muscles. It is unknown if MyoCI training could decrease these abnormal muscle activations and therefore, increase arm function.
Methods & findings
This study included 32 stroke survivors with moderate to severe arm impairment. Each patient was assessed to find out which muscles were activating abnormally. Patients were randomly assigned to three different groups. Group 1 and 2 received either 60 or 90 minutes of MyoCI with their arms restrained. Group 3 received 90 minutes of MyoCI with no arm restraints. Patients had 3 sessions per week over 6 weeks.
In all 32 patients, MyoCI significantly reduced impairment. There were no significant differences between the groups. Muscle spasm decreased in all patients. Also, elbow range-of-motion improved. MyoCI reduced abnormal activation of muscles. No patients had any training-related side effects.
The bottom line
The authors concluded that MyoCI is a new rehabilitation tool that reduces abnormal muscle activation in stroke survivors.
The fine print
This study had a very small number of patients. Larger studies are needed.
Published By :
Neurorehabilitation and neural repair
Mar 19, 2019