In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of robot-assisted left-hand training in older patients with stroke and hemispatial neglect (HN). Researchers suggested that robot-assisted hand training improves HN in these patients.
Stroke is a condition that affects the brain. The blood flow to the brain stops due to a blood clot or burst blood vessel. The brain cells begin to die due to the lack of oxygen. The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body and plays a role in spatial attention. When this side is affected complications such as HN often appear. HN consists of reduced attention and awareness of one side of the field of vision. It is present in 13 to 82% of patients who have had a stroke. HN is naturally resolved 3 months after the stroke in more than 80% of patients. However, 20% of these patients have HN 6 months after the stroke. This can affect their recovery.
Prior studies suggested that left-hand training improves HN by activating the right side of the brain. Robotic devices can provide consistent training to these patients. Prior studies showed that robotic devices used in stroke survivors improve arm function. However, the effectiveness of these devices for HN is still unknown.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 24 patients with stroke and HN. Participants were assigned either to robot-assisted left-hand training (12) or conventional therapy (12). All patients received 20 sessions for 4 weeks. The main outcome measured was the change in HN before and after treatment.
After treatment, significant improvements in HN were observed in the robot-assisted left-hand training group when compared to the conventional therapy group. HN in activities of daily living was reduced in the robot-assisted training group.
The bottom line
This study concluded that robot-assisted left-hand training improves HN in patients with chronic stroke.
The fine print
This study included a small number of participants. Further long-term studies with a bigger population are necessary.
Published By :
Mar 05, 2021