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Intensive virtual reality-based training for upper limb motor function in chronic stroke: a feasibility study using a single case experimental design and fMRI


Schuster-Amft, Corina; Henneke, Andrea; Hartog-Keisker, Birgit; Holper, Lisa; Siekierka, Ewa; Chevrier, Edith; Pyk, Pawel; Kollias, Spyros; Kiper, Daniel; Eng, Kynan (2015). Intensive virtual reality-based training for upper limb motor function in chronic stroke: a feasibility study using a single case experimental design and fMRI. Disability and Rehabilitation. Assistive Technology, 10(5):384-392.

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate feasibility and neurophysiological changes after virtual reality (VR)-based training of upper limb (UL) movements. Method: Single-case A-B-A-design with two male stroke patients (P1:67 y and 50 y, 3.5 and 3 y after onset) with UL motor impairments, 45-min therapy sessions 5×/week over 4 weeks. Patients facing screen, used bimanual data gloves to control virtual arms. Three applications trained bimanual reaching, grasping, hand opening. Assessments during 2-week baseline, weekly during intervention, at 3-month follow-up (FU): Goal Attainment Scale (GAS), Chedoke Arm and Hand Activity Inventory (CAHAI), Chedoke-McMaster Stroke Assessment (CMSA), Extended Barthel Index (EBI), Motor Activity Log (MAL). Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans (FMRI) before, immediately after treatment and at FU. Results: P1 executed 5478 grasps (paretic arm). Improvements in CAHAI (+4) were maintained at FU. GAS changed to +1 post-test and +2 at FU. P2 executed 9835 grasps (paretic arm). CAHAI improvements (+13) were maintained at FU. GAS scores changed to -1 post-test and +1 at FU. MAL scores changed from 3.7 at pre-test to 5.5 post-test and 3.3 at FU. Conclusion: The VR-based intervention was feasible, safe, and intense. Adjustable application settings maintained training challenge and patient motivation. ADL-relevant UL functional improvements persisted at FU and were related to changed cortical activation patterns. Implications for Rehabilitation YouGrabber trains uni- and bimanual upper motor function. Its application is feasible, safe, and intense. The control of the virtual arms can be done in three main ways: (a) normal (b) virtual mirror therapy, or (c) virtual following. The mirroring feature provides an illusion of affected limb movements during the period when the affected upper limb (UL) is resting. The YouGrabber training led to ADL-relevant UL functional improvements that were still assessable 12 weeks after intervention finalization and were related to changed cortical activation patterns.

Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate feasibility and neurophysiological changes after virtual reality (VR)-based training of upper limb (UL) movements. Method: Single-case A-B-A-design with two male stroke patients (P1:67 y and 50 y, 3.5 and 3 y after onset) with UL motor impairments, 45-min therapy sessions 5×/week over 4 weeks. Patients facing screen, used bimanual data gloves to control virtual arms. Three applications trained bimanual reaching, grasping, hand opening. Assessments during 2-week baseline, weekly during intervention, at 3-month follow-up (FU): Goal Attainment Scale (GAS), Chedoke Arm and Hand Activity Inventory (CAHAI), Chedoke-McMaster Stroke Assessment (CMSA), Extended Barthel Index (EBI), Motor Activity Log (MAL). Functional magnetic resonance imaging scans (FMRI) before, immediately after treatment and at FU. Results: P1 executed 5478 grasps (paretic arm). Improvements in CAHAI (+4) were maintained at FU. GAS changed to +1 post-test and +2 at FU. P2 executed 9835 grasps (paretic arm). CAHAI improvements (+13) were maintained at FU. GAS scores changed to -1 post-test and +1 at FU. MAL scores changed from 3.7 at pre-test to 5.5 post-test and 3.3 at FU. Conclusion: The VR-based intervention was feasible, safe, and intense. Adjustable application settings maintained training challenge and patient motivation. ADL-relevant UL functional improvements persisted at FU and were related to changed cortical activation patterns. Implications for Rehabilitation YouGrabber trains uni- and bimanual upper motor function. Its application is feasible, safe, and intense. The control of the virtual arms can be done in three main ways: (a) normal (b) virtual mirror therapy, or (c) virtual following. The mirroring feature provides an illusion of affected limb movements during the period when the affected upper limb (UL) is resting. The YouGrabber training led to ADL-relevant UL functional improvements that were still assessable 12 weeks after intervention finalization and were related to changed cortical activation patterns.

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3 citations in Web of Science®
5 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neuroradiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Neuroinformatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:09 Jul 2014 14:07
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:57
Publisher:Informa Healthcare
ISSN:1748-3107
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3109/17483107.2014.908963
PubMed ID:24730659

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