Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Search results for: neurorehabilitation

12 Virtual Reality Application for Neurorehabilitation

Authors: Daniel Vargas-Herrera, Ivette Caldelas, Fernando Brambila-Paz, Rodrigo Montufar-Chaveznava


In this paper, we present a virtual reality application for neurorehabilitation. This application was developed using the Unity SDK integrating the Oculus Rift and Leap Motion devices. Essentially, it consists of three stages according to the kind of rehabilitation to carry on: ocular rehabilitation, head/neck rehabilitation, and eye-hand coordination. We build three scenes for each task; for ocular and head/neck rehabilitation, there are different objects moving in the field of view and extended field of view of the user according to some patterns relative to the therapy. In the third stage the user must try to touch with the hand some objects guided by its view. We report the primer results of the use of the application with healthy people.

Keywords: virtual reality, interactive technologies, video games, neurorehabilitation

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11 A Brain Controlled Robotic Gait Trainer for Neurorehabilitation

Authors: Qazi Umer Jamil, Abubakr Siddique, Mubeen Ur Rehman, Nida Aziz, Mohsin I. Tiwana


This paper discusses a brain controlled robotic gait trainer for neurorehabilitation of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) patients. Patients suffering from Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) become unable to execute motion control of their lower proximities due to degeneration of spinal cord neurons. The presented approach can help SCI patients in neuro-rehabilitation training by directly translating patient motor imagery into walkers motion commands and thus bypassing spinal cord neurons completely. A non-invasive EEG based brain-computer interface is used for capturing patient neural activity. For signal processing and classification, an open source software (OpenVibe) is used. Classifiers categorize the patient motor imagery (MI) into a specific set of commands that are further translated into walker motion commands. The robotic walker also employs fall detection for ensuring safety of patient during gait training and can act as a support for SCI patients. The gait trainer is tested with subjects, and satisfactory results were achieved.

Keywords: brain computer interface (BCI), gait trainer, spinal cord injury (SCI), neurorehabilitation

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10 Mechanical Properties and Thermal Comfort of 3D Printed Hand Orthosis for Neurorehabilitation

Authors: Paulo H. R. G. Reis, Joana P. Maia, Davi Neiva Alves, Mariana R. C. Aquino, Igor B. Guimaraes, Anderson Horta, Thiago Santiago, Mariana Volpini


Additive manufacturing is a manufacturing technique used in many fields as a tool for the production of complex parts accurately. This technique has a wide possibility of applications in bioengineering, mainly in the manufacture of orthopedic devices, thanks to the versatility of shapes and surface details. The present article aims to evaluate the mechanical viability of a wrist-hand orthosis made using additive manufacturing techniques with Nylon 12 polyamide and compare this device with the wrist-hand orthosis manufactured by the traditional process with thermoplastic Ezeform. The methodology used is based on the application of computational simulations of voltage and temperature, from finite element analysis, in order to evaluate the properties of displacement, mechanical stresses and thermal comfort in the two devices. The execution of this work was carried out through a case study with a 29-year-old male patient. The modeling software involved was Meshmixer from US manufacturer Autodesk and Fusion 360 from the same manufacturer. The results demonstrated that the orthosis developed by 3D printing, from Nylon 12, presents better thermal comfort and response to the mechanical stresses exerted on the orthosis.

Keywords: additive manufacturing, finite elements, hand orthosis, thermal comfort, neurorehabilitation

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9 Challenges & Barriers for Neuro Rehabilitation in Developing Countries

Authors: Muhammad Naveed Babur, Maria Liaqat


Background & Objective: People with disabilities especially neurological disabilities have many unmet health and rehabilitation needs, face barriers in accessing mainstream health-care services, and consequently have poor health. There are not sufficient epidemiological studies from Pakistan which assess barriers to neurorehabilitation and ways to counter it. Objectives: The objective of the study was to determine the challenges and to evaluate the barriers for neuro-rehabilitation services in developing countries. Methods: This is Exploratory sequential qualitative study based on the Panel discussion forum in International rehabilitation sciences congress and national rehabilitation conference 2017. Panel group discussion has been conducted in February 2017 with a sample size of eight professionals including Rehabilitation medicine Physician, Physical Therapist, Speech Language therapist, Occupational Therapist, Clinical Psychologist and rehabilitation nurse working in multidisciplinary/Interdisciplinary team. A comprehensive audio-videography have been developed, recorded, transcripted and documented. Data was transcribed and thematic analysis along with characteristics was drawn manually. Data verification was done with the help of two separate coders. Results: After extraction of two separate coders following results are emerged. General category themes are disease profile, demographic profile, training and education, research, barriers, governance, global funding, informal care, resources and cultural beliefs and public awareness. Barriers identified at the level are high cost, stigma, lengthy course of recovery. Hospital related barriers are lack of social support and individually tailored goal setting processes. Organizational barriers identified are lack of basic diagnostic facilities, lack of funding and human resources. Recommendations given by panelists were investment in education, capacity building, infrastructure, governance support, strategies to promote communication and realistic goals. Conclusion: It is concluded that neurorehabilitation in developing countries need attention in following categories i.e. disease profile, demographic profile, training and education, research, barriers, governance, global funding, informal care, resources and cultural beliefs and public awareness. This study also revealed barriers at the level of patient, hospital, organization. Recommendations were also given by panelists.

Keywords: disability, neurorehabilitation, telerehabilitation, disability

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8 Modern Technology-Based Methods in Neurorehabilitation for Social Competence Deficit in Children with Acquired Brain Injury

Authors: M. Saard, A. Kolk, K. Sepp, L. Pertens, L. Reinart, C. Kööp


Introduction: Social competence is often impaired in children with acquired brain injury (ABI), but evidence-based rehabilitation for social skills has remained undeveloped. Modern technology-based methods create effective and safe learning environments for pediatric social skills remediation. The aim of the study was to implement our structured model of neuro rehab for socio-cognitive deficit using multitouch-multiuser tabletop (MMT) computer-based platforms and virtual reality (VR) technology. Methods: 40 children aged 8-13 years (yrs) have participated in the pilot study: 30 with ABI -epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and/or tic disorder- and 10 healthy age-matched controls. From the patients, 12 have completed the training (M = 11.10 yrs, SD = 1.543) and 20 are still in training or in the waiting-list group (M = 10.69 yrs, SD = 1.704). All children performed the first individual and paired assessments. For patients, second evaluations were performed after the intervention period. Two interactive applications were implemented into rehabilitation design: Snowflake software on MMT tabletop and NoProblem on DiamondTouch Table (DTT), which allowed paired training (2 children at once). Also, in individual training sessions, HTC Vive VR device was used with VR metaphors of difficult social situations to treat social anxiety and train social skills. Results: At baseline (B) evaluations, patients had higher deficits in executive functions on the BRIEF parents’ questionnaire (M = 117, SD = 23.594) compared to healthy controls (M = 22, SD = 18.385). The most impaired components of social competence were emotion recognition, Theory of Mind skills (ToM), cooperation, verbal/non-verbal communication, and pragmatics (Friendship Observation Scale scores only 25-50% out of 100% for patients). In Sentence Completion Task and Spence Anxiety Scale, the patients reported a lack of friends, behavioral problems, bullying in school, and social anxiety. Outcome evaluations: Snowflake on MMT improved executive and cooperation skills and DTT developed communication skills, metacognitive skills, and coping. VR, video modelling and role-plays improved social attention, emotional attitude, gestural behaviors, and decreased social anxiety. NEPSY-II showed improvement in Affect Recognition [B = 7, SD = 5.01 vs outcome (O) = 10, SD = 5.85], Verbal ToM (B = 8, SD = 3.06 vs O = 10, SD = 4.08), Contextual ToM (B = 8, SD = 3.15 vs O = 11, SD = 2.87). ToM Stories test showed an improved understanding of Intentional Lying (B = 7, SD = 2.20 vs O = 10, SD = 0.50), and Sarcasm (B=6, SD = 2.20 vs O = 7, SD = 2.50). Conclusion: Neurorehabilitation based on the Structured Model of Neurorehab for Socio-Cognitive Deficit in children with ABI were effective in social skills remediation. The model helps to understand theoretical connections between components of social competence and modern interactive computerized platforms. We encourage therapists to implement these next-generation devices into the rehabilitation process as MMT and VR interfaces are motivating for children, thus ensuring good compliance. Improving children’s social skills is important for their and their families’ quality of life and social capital.

Keywords: acquired brain injury, children, social skills deficit, technology-based neurorehabilitation

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7 Estimation of Forces Applied to Forearm Using EMG Signal Features to Control of Powered Human Arm Prostheses

Authors: Faruk Ortes, Derya Karabulut, Yunus Ziya Arslan


Myoelectric features gathering from musculature environment are considered on a preferential basis to perceive muscle activation and control human arm prostheses according to recent experimental researches. EMG (electromyography) signal based human arm prostheses have shown a promising performance in terms of providing basic functional requirements of motions for the amputated people in recent years. However, these assistive devices for neurorehabilitation still have important limitations in enabling amputated people to perform rather sophisticated or functional movements. Surface electromyogram (EMG) is used as the control signal to command such devices. This kind of control consists of activating a motion in prosthetic arm using muscle activation for the same particular motion. Extraction of clear and certain neural information from EMG signals plays a major role especially in fine control of hand prosthesis movements. Many signal processing methods have been utilized for feature extraction from EMG signals. The specific objective of this study was to compare widely used time domain features of EMG signal including integrated EMG(IEMG), root mean square (RMS) and waveform length(WL) for prediction of externally applied forces to human hands. Obtained features were classified using artificial neural networks (ANN) to predict the forces. EMG signals supplied to process were recorded during only type of muscle contraction which is isometric and isotonic one. Experiments were performed by three healthy subjects who are right-handed and in a range of 25-35 year-old aging. EMG signals were collected from muscles of the proximal part of the upper body consisting of: biceps brachii, triceps brachii, pectorialis major and trapezius. The force prediction results obtained from the ANN were statistically analyzed and merits and pitfalls of the extracted features were discussed with detail. The obtained results are anticipated to contribute classification process of EMG signal and motion control of powered human arm prosthetics control.

Keywords: assistive devices for neurorehabilitation, electromyography, feature extraction, force estimation, human arm prosthesis

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6 Electroencephalography Activity during Sensory Organization Balance Test

Authors: Tariq Ali Gujar, Anita Hökelmann


Postural balance plays essential role throughout life in daily activities. Somatosensory, visual and vestibular inputs play the fundamental role in maintaining body equilibrium to balance the posture. The aim of this study was to find out electroencephalography (EEG) responses during balance activity of young people during Sensory Organization Balance Test. The outcome of this study will help to create the fitness and neurorehabilitation plan. 25 young people (25 ± 3.1 years) have been analyzed on Balance Master NeuroCom® with the coupling of Brain Vision 32 electrode wireless EEG system during the Sensory Organization Test. From the results it has been found that the balance score of samples is significantly higher under the influence of somatosensory input as compared to visual and vestibular input (p < 0.05). The EEG between somatosensory and visual input to balance the posture showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha and beta activities during somatosensory input in somatosensory, attention and visual functions of the cortex whereas executive and motor functions of the cerebral cortex showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) alpha EEG activity during the visual input. The results suggest that somatosensory and attention function of the cerebral cortex has alpha and beta activity, respectively high during somatosensory and vestibular input in maintaining balance. In patients with balance impairments both physical and cognitive training, including neurofeedback will be helpful to improve balance abilities.

Keywords: balance, electroencephalography activity, somatosensory, visual, vestibular

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5 The Efficacy of Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Authors: Ammar Aljabri, Alhussain Halawani, Alaa Ashqar, Omar Alageely


Objective: mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) or concussion is a common yet undermanaged and underreported condition. This systematic review and meta-analysis aim to determine the efficacy of VRT as a treatment option for mTBI. Method: This review and meta-analysis was performed following the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines and included RCTs and pre-VRT/post-VRT retrospective chart reviews. Records meeting the inclusion criteria were extracted from the following databases: Medline, Embase, and Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL). Results: Eight articles met the inclusion criteria, and six RCTs were included in the meta-analysis. VRT demonstrated significant improvement in decreasing perceived dizziness at the end of the intervention program, as shown by DHI scores (SMD= -0.33, 95% CI -0.62 to -0.03, p=0.03, I2= 0%). However, no significant reduction in DHI was evident after two months of follow-up (SMD= 0.15, 95% CI -0.23 to 0.52, p=0.44, I2=0%). Quantitative analysis also depicts significant reduction in both VOMS (SMD=-0.40, 95% CI -0.60 to -0.20, p<0.0001, I2=0%) and PCSS (SMD= -0.39, 95% CI -0.71 to -0.07, p=0.02, I2=0%) following the intervention. Lastly, there was no significant difference between intervention groups on BESS scores (SMD= -31, 95% CI -0.71 to 0.10, p=0.14, I2=0%) and return to sport/function (95% CI 0.32 to 30.80, p=0.32, I2=82%). Conclusions: Current evidence on the efficacy of VRT for mTBI is limited. This review and analysis provide evidence that supports the role of VRT in improving perceived symptoms following concussion. There is still a need for high-quality trials evaluating the benefit of VRT using a standardized approach.

Keywords: concussion, traumatic brain injury, vestibular rehabilitation, neurorehabilitation

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4 A Wearable Device to Overcome Post–Stroke Learned Non-Use; The Rehabilitation Gaming System for wearables: Methodology, Design and Usability

Authors: Javier De La Torre Costa, Belen Rubio Ballester, Martina Maier, Paul F. M. J. Verschure


After a stroke, a great number of patients experience persistent motor impairments such as hemiparesis or weakness in one entire side of the body. As a result, the lack of use of the paretic limb might be one of the main contributors to functional loss after clinical discharge. We aim to reverse this cycle by promoting the use of the paretic limb during activities of daily living (ADLs). To do so, we describe the key components of a system that is composed of a wearable bracelet (i.e., a smartwatch) and a mobile phone, designed to bring a set of neurorehabilitation principles that promote acquisition, retention and generalization of skills to the home of the patient. A fundamental question is whether the loss in motor function derived from learned–non–use may emerge as a consequence of decision–making processes for motor optimization. Our system is based on well-established rehabilitation strategies that aim to reverse this behaviour by increasing the reward associated with action execution as well as implicitly reducing the expected cost associated with the use of the paretic limb, following the notion of the reinforcement–induced movement therapy (RIMT). Here we validate an accelerometer–based measure of arm use, and its capacity to discriminate different activities that require increasing movement of the arm. We also show how the system can act as a personalized assistant by providing specific goals and adjusting them depending on the performance of the patients. The usability and acceptance of the device as a rehabilitation tool is tested using a battery of self–reported and objective measurements obtained from acute/subacute patients and healthy controls. We believe that an extension of these technologies will allow for the deployment of unsupervised rehabilitation paradigms during and beyond the hospitalization time.

Keywords: stroke, wearables, learned non use, hemiparesis, ADLs

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3 Brain-Computer Interface System for Lower Extremity Rehabilitation of Chronic Stroke Patients

Authors: Marc Sebastián-Romagosa, Woosang Cho, Rupert Ortner, Christy Li, Christoph Guger


Neurorehabilitation based on Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) shows important rehabilitation effects for patients after stroke. Previous studies have shown improvements for patients that are in a chronic stage and/or have severe hemiparesis and are particularly challenging for conventional rehabilitation techniques. For this publication, seven stroke patients in the chronic phase with hemiparesis in the lower extremity were recruited. All of them participated in 25 BCI sessions about 3 times a week. The BCI system was based on the Motor Imagery (MI) of the paretic ankle dorsiflexion and healthy wrist dorsiflexion with Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and avatar feedback. Assessments were conducted to assess the changes in motor improvement before, after and during the rehabilitation training. Our primary measures used for the assessment were the 10-meters walking test (10MWT), Range of Motion (ROM) of the ankle dorsiflexion and Timed Up and Go (TUG). Results show a significant increase in the gait speed in the primary measure 10MWT fast velocity of 0.18 m/s IQR = [0.12 to 0.2], P = 0.016. The speed in the TUG was also significantly increased by 0.1 m/s IQR = [0.09 to 0.11], P = 0.031. The active ROM assessment increased 4.65º, and IQR = [ 1.67 - 7.4], after rehabilitation training, P = 0.029. These functional improvements persisted at least one month after the end of the therapy. These outcomes show the feasibility of this BCI approach for chronic stroke patients and further support the growing consensus that these types of tools might develop into a new paradigm for rehabilitation tools for stroke patients. However, the results are from only seven chronic stroke patients, so the authors believe that this approach should be further validated in broader randomized controlled studies involving more patients. MI and FES-based non-invasive BCIs are showing improvement in the gait rehabilitation of patients in the chronic stage after stroke. This could have an impact on the rehabilitation techniques used for these patients, especially when they are severely impaired and their mobility is limited.

Keywords: neuroscience, brain computer interfaces, rehabilitat, stroke

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2 Rehabilitation Team after Brain Damages as Complex System Integrating Consciousness

Authors: Olga Maksakova


A work with unconscious patients after acute brain damages besides special knowledge and practical skills of all the participants requires a very specific organization. A lot of said about team approach in neurorehabilitation, usually as for outpatient mode. Rehabilitologists deal with fixed patient problems or deficits (motion, speech, cognitive or emotional disorder). Team-building means superficial paradigm of management psychology. Linear mode of teamwork fits casual relationships there. Cases with deep altered states of consciousness (vegetative states, coma, and confusion) require non-linear mode of teamwork: recovery of consciousness might not be the goal due to phenomenon uncertainty. Rehabilitation team as Semi-open Complex System includes the patient as a part. Patient's response pattern becomes formed not only with brain deficits but questions-stimuli, context, and inquiring person. Teamwork is sourcing of phenomenology knowledge of patient's processes as Third-person approach is replaced with Second- and after First-person approaches. Here is a chance for real-time change. Patient’s contacts with his own body and outward things create a basement for restoration of consciousness. The most important condition is systematic feedbacks to any minimal movement or vegetative signal of the patient. Up to now, recovery work with the most severe contingent is carried out in the mode of passive physical interventions, while an effective rehabilitation team should include specially trained psychologists and psychotherapists. It is they who are able to create a network of feedbacks with the patient and inter-professional ones building up the team. Characteristics of ‘Team-Patient’ system (TPS) are energy, entropy, and complexity. Impairment of consciousness as the absence of linear contact appears together with a loss of essential functions (low energy), vegetative-visceral fits (excessive energy and low order), motor agitation (excessive energy and excessive order), etc. Techniques of teamwork are different in these cases for resulting optimization of the system condition. Directed regulation of the system complexity is one of the recovery tools. Different signs of awareness appear as a result of system self-organization. Joint meetings are an important part of teamwork. Regular or event-related discussions form the language of inter-professional communication, as well as the patient's shared mental model. Analysis of complex communication process in TPS may be useful for creation of the general theory of consciousness.

Keywords: rehabilitation team, urgent rehabilitation, severe brain damage, consciousness disorders, complex system theory

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1 A Top-down vs a Bottom-up Approach on Lower Extremity Motor Recovery and Balance Following Acute Stroke: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Authors: Vijaya Kumar, Vidayasagar Pagilla, Abraham Joshua, Rakshith Kedambadi, Prasanna Mithra


Background: Post stroke rehabilitation are aimed to accelerate for optimal sensorimotor recovery, functional gain and to reduce long-term dependency. Intensive physical therapy interventions can enhance this recovery as experience-dependent neural plastic changes either directly act at cortical neural networks or at distal peripheral level (muscular components). Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation (NMES), a traditional bottom-up approach, mirror therapy (MT), a relatively new top down approach have found to be an effective adjuvant treatment methods for lower extremity motor and functional recovery in stroke rehabilitation. However there is a scarcity of evidence to compare their therapeutic gain in stroke recovery.Aim: To compare the efficacy of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and mirror therapy (MT) in very early phase of post stroke rehabilitation addressed to lower extremity motor recovery and balance. Design: observer blinded Randomized Clinical Trial. Setting: Neurorehabilitation Unit, Department of Physical Therapy, Tertiary Care Hospitals. Subjects: 32 acute stroke subjects with first episode of unilateral stroke with hemiparesis, referred for rehabilitation (onset < 3 weeks), Brunnstorm lower extremity recovery stages ≥3 and MMSE score more than 24 were randomized into two group [Group A-NMES and Group B-MT]. Interventions: Both the groups received eclectic approach to remediate lower extremity recovery which includes treatment components of Roods, Bobath and Motor learning approaches for 30 minutes a day for 6 days. Following which Group A (N=16) received 30 minutes of surface NMES training for six major paretic muscle groups (gluteus maximus and medius,quadriceps, hamstrings, tibialis anterior and gastrocnemius). Group B (N=16) was administered with 30 minutes of mirror therapy sessions to facilitate lower extremity motor recovery. Outcome measures: Lower extremity motor recovery, balance and activities of daily life (ADLs) were measured by Fugyl Meyer Assessment (FMA-LE), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Barthel Index (BI) before and after intervention. Results: Pre Post analysis of either group across the time revealed statistically significant improvement (p < 0.001) for all the outcome variables for the either group. All parameters of NMES had greater change scores compared to MT group as follows: FMA-LE (25.12±3.01 vs. 23.31±2.38), BBS (35.12±4.61 vs. 34.68±5.42) and BI (40.00±10.32 vs. 37.18±7.73). Between the groups comparison of pre post values showed no significance with FMA-LE (p=0.09), BBS (p=0.80) and BI (p=0.39) respectively. Conclusion: Though either groups had significant improvement (pre to post intervention), none of them were superior to other in lower extremity motor recovery and balance among acute stroke subjects. We conclude that eclectic approach is an effective treatment irrespective of NMES or MT as an adjunct.

Keywords: balance, motor recovery, mirror therapy, neuromuscular electrical stimulation, stroke

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