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Exercise for stroke patients' brains
Date:6/11/2013

nd former USC doctoral student Sook-Lei Liew and postdoctoral researcher Savio Wong.

Their research was posted online ahead of publication by the journal Stroke on June 6.

Using action-observation in stroke rehabilitation has shown promise in early studies, and this study is among the first to explain why it may be effective.

"It's like you're priming the pump," Winstein said. "You're getting these circuits engaged through the action-observation before they even attempt to move." The process is a kind of virtual exercise program for the brain that prepares you for the real exercise that includes the brain and body.

The study also offers support for expanding action-observation as a therapeutic technique particularly for individuals who have been screened using fMRI and have shown a strong response to it.

"We could make videos of what patients will be doing in therapy, and then have them watch it as homework," Aziz-Zadeh said. "In some cases, it could pave the way for them to do better."


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Contact: Robert Perkins
perkinsr@usc.edu
213-740-9226
University of Southern California
Source:Eurekalert

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