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Europa Medicophysica 2007 December;43(4):463-8

Copyright © 2007 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

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


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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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