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A Journal on Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation after Pathological Events

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (SIMFER), European Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ESPRM), European Union of Medical Specialists - Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Section (UEMS-PRM), Mediterranean Forum of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (MFPRM), Hellenic Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (EEFIAP)
In association with International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM)
Indexed/Abstracted in: CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Europa Medicophysica 2007 December;43(4):463-8

language: English

A new mechanical arm trainer to intensify the upper limb rehabilitation of severely affected patients after stroke: design, concept and first case series

Hesse S. 1, Schmidt H. 1,2, Werner C. 1, Rybski C. 1, Puzich U. 1, Bardeleben A. 1

1 Department of Neurological Rehabilitation Klinik Berlin, Charité University Medicine, Berlin, Germany
2 Department of Automation and Robotics Fraunhofer IPK, Berlin, Germany


Description and case series on a new mechanical arm trainer with three degrees of freedom (DoF), the REHA-SLIDE (RS), for stroke rehabilitation are presented. Similar to a rolling pin, it consists of two handles at either side of a connecting rod, the handles are bilaterally moved forward and backward, sideways, and rotated, the base plate is inclinable. A computer mouse attached to the rod enables playing games offering computer-biofeedback. Two patients, 6 and 5 weeks after a first-time supratentorial stroke, suffering from a flaccid non-functional upper extremity have been studied. Interventions performed were additional 30 min of RS-training every workday for 6 weeks; one session included 400 repetitions evenly distributed between the forward backward movement and drawing a circle clock- and counter clockwise. Afterwards the patients could play games. Upper extremity portion of the Fugl-Meyer Motor Assessment Score (FM, 0-66), and muscle strength by a Medical Research Council (MRC) sum score (0-45), the FM assessment was blinded. In the 2 patients, the FM (0-66) improved from 7 to 37, and from 17 to 43, their initial (terminal) MRC sum scores were 6 (36) and 13 (31). With the REHA-Slide (RS), severely affected patients practiced a bilateral 3 DoF movement. No conclusions can be drawn so far and a controlled clinical study must be the next step.

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