Vol 55, No 1 (2021)
Research Paper
Published online: 2020-12-14
Submitted: 2020-09-28
Accepted: 2020-12-01
Get Citation

Early post-stroke rehabilitation for upper limb motor function using virtual reality and exoskeleton: equally efficient in older patients

Tereza Gueye, Miriama Dedkova, Vladimir Rogalewicz, Marcela Grunerova-Lippertova, Yvona Angerova
DOI: 10.5603/PJNNS.a2020.0096
·
Pubmed: 33314016
·
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2021;55(1):91-96.

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Vol 55, No 1 (2021)
Research papers
Published online: 2020-12-14
Submitted: 2020-09-28
Accepted: 2020-12-01

Abstract

Aim of the study. To evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality therapy (VRT) Armeo Spring® upper limb exoskeleton (Armeo), in early post-stroke rehabilitation with a focus on the elderly.

Clinical rationale for the study.
Convalescence from a stroke is a complex process driven by a spontaneous recovery supported by multifactorial activation. Novel technology-based rehabilitation methods are being introduced to support brain plasticity.

Materials and methods. Using a randomised controlled study design, participants within 30 days after stroke with arm paresis were, in addition to a daily rehabilitation programme, assigned to an intervention group (45 minutes Armeo IG n = 25; mean age 66.5 years) performing VRT, or to a conventional physiotherapy (45 minutes) control group (Armeo CG, n = 25, mean age 68.1 years). Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Fugl Mayer Assessment Upper Extremity Scale (FMA-UE) were performed before and after the three-week therapy with 12 therapeutic sessions. Results of participants < 65 and ≥ 65 years old were compared.

Results. Paretic upper arm function improved significantly in both the IG and CG groups, the improvement in FMA-UE was significantly higher in the IG compared to the CG (p = 0.02), and patients ≥ 65 years old presented an equal magnitude of improvement in paretic arm function compared to younger patients.

Conclusions and clinical implications. Early post-stroke rehabilitation strategies using, in addition to the daily rehabilitation programme, VRT with visual biofeedback is more effective on upper extremity motor performance than conventional physiotherapy, and the effectiveness does not diminish with patient age. This may be a promising addition to conventional physiotherapy in older stroke patients as well as in younger.

Abstract

Aim of the study. To evaluate the effectiveness of virtual reality therapy (VRT) Armeo Spring® upper limb exoskeleton (Armeo), in early post-stroke rehabilitation with a focus on the elderly.

Clinical rationale for the study.
Convalescence from a stroke is a complex process driven by a spontaneous recovery supported by multifactorial activation. Novel technology-based rehabilitation methods are being introduced to support brain plasticity.

Materials and methods. Using a randomised controlled study design, participants within 30 days after stroke with arm paresis were, in addition to a daily rehabilitation programme, assigned to an intervention group (45 minutes Armeo IG n = 25; mean age 66.5 years) performing VRT, or to a conventional physiotherapy (45 minutes) control group (Armeo CG, n = 25, mean age 68.1 years). Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Functional Independence Measure (FIM) and Fugl Mayer Assessment Upper Extremity Scale (FMA-UE) were performed before and after the three-week therapy with 12 therapeutic sessions. Results of participants < 65 and ≥ 65 years old were compared.

Results. Paretic upper arm function improved significantly in both the IG and CG groups, the improvement in FMA-UE was significantly higher in the IG compared to the CG (p = 0.02), and patients ≥ 65 years old presented an equal magnitude of improvement in paretic arm function compared to younger patients.

Conclusions and clinical implications. Early post-stroke rehabilitation strategies using, in addition to the daily rehabilitation programme, VRT with visual biofeedback is more effective on upper extremity motor performance than conventional physiotherapy, and the effectiveness does not diminish with patient age. This may be a promising addition to conventional physiotherapy in older stroke patients as well as in younger.

Get Citation

Keywords

early neurorehabilitation, virtual reality, exoskeleton, upper limb, elderly, stroke

About this article
Title

Early post-stroke rehabilitation for upper limb motor function using virtual reality and exoskeleton: equally efficient in older patients

Journal

Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska

Issue

Vol 55, No 1 (2021)

Article type

Research Paper

Pages

91-96

Published online

2020-12-14

DOI

10.5603/PJNNS.a2020.0096

Pubmed

33314016

Bibliographic record

Neurol Neurochir Pol 2021;55(1):91-96.

Keywords

early neurorehabilitation
virtual reality
exoskeleton
upper limb
elderly
stroke

Authors

Tereza Gueye
Miriama Dedkova
Vladimir Rogalewicz
Marcela Grunerova-Lippertova
Yvona Angerova

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