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Posted by on Aug 28, 2019 in Stroke | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated whether the Italian adaptative physical activity program (APA) for stroke survivors is feasible in the United States. Researchers suggested that this program improves the outcomes of survivors and is feasible in the United states.

Some background

Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability in the US. A stroke happens when blood flow to the brain is cut-off. Brain cells stop receiving oxygen and begin to die. The abilities controlled by those cells are lost leaving stroke survivors with disabilities. These disabilities limit body movement and increase the risk of falls decreasing the overall quality of life.

Prior studies showed that physical exercise improves the gait (walking) and the movement of these patients. It also improves heart and bone health, depression and social isolation.

The Italian APA program consists of a group exercise program that trains walking, strength and balance. This program was associated with significant improvement of stroke complications in stroke survivors. However, it is not clear if this program would work with patients in the United States.

Methods & findings

This study included 76 stroke survivors. All participants had a mild disability for more than 6 months. Of these, 43 received the APA program and 33 received Sittercise (is a seated, upper body exercise program). These patients received therapy for 1 hour, 3 times weekly supervised by exercise teachers.

There were no serious side effects reported. Patients in the APA group improved significantly their walking speed.

The bottom line

This study concluded that the Italian APA program is safe, adequate and low-cost to be applied in the United States.

The fine print

This study had a limited number of participants. Further studies with a bigger population are needed.

Published By :

Neurorehabilitation and neural repair

Date :

Jul 11, 2019

Original Title :

Adaptive Physical Activity for Stroke: An Early-Stage Randomized Controlled Trial in the United States.

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