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Combining Mental Training and Physical Training with Goal-oriented Protocols in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Feasibility Case Study

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Zhang X, Elnady AM, Randhawa BK, Boyd LA and Menon C (2018) Combining Mental Training and Physical Training With Goal-Oriented Protocols in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Feasibility Case Study. Front. Hum. Neurosci. 12:125. DOI: 10.3389/fnhum.2018.00125.

Date created: 
Stroke rehabilitation
Mental training
Physical training

Stroke is one of the leading causes of permanent disability in adults. The literature suggests that rehabilitation is key to early motor recovery. However, conventional therapy is labor and cost intensive. Robotic and functional electrical stimulation (FES) devices can provide a high dose of repetitions and as such may provide an alternative, or an adjunct, to conventional rehabilitation therapy. Brain-computer interfaces (BCI) could augment neuroplasticity by introducing mental training. However, mental training alone is not enough; but combining mental with physical training could boost outcomes. In the current case study, a portable rehabilitative platform and goal-oriented supporting training protocols were introduced and tested with a chronic stroke participant. A novel training method was introduced with the proposed rehabilitative platform. A 37-year old individual with chronic stroke participated in 6-weeks of training (18 sessions in total, 3 sessions a week, and 1 h per session). In this case study, we show that an individual with chronic stroke can tolerate a 6-week training bout with our system and protocol. The participant was actively engaged throughout the training. Changes in the Wolf Motor Function Test (WMFT) suggest that the training positively affected arm motor function (12% improvement in WMFT score).

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