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JAMA features NJIT biomedical engineer helping stroke patients
Date:2/8/2011

The Journal of the American Medical Society ("Medical News & Perspectives", Jan. 19, 2011) featured the research of NJIT Associate Professor Sergei Adamovich, a biomedical engineer. Adamovich and his research partners, physical therapists Alma Merians, PhD, PT, and Eugene Tunik, PhD, PT, at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, have developed innovative robotic and virtual reality-based video game therapies to help stroke patients regain use of hands and arms.

JAMA reported that the efforts of this team are making headway. Twenty-four patients who completed the program report improvements completing daily tasks. One patient reported cutting strawberries with both hands without realizing it, something she had previously been unable to do. A $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supports this research. (EDITORS: To interview Adamovich, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436)

The article noted that patients in the program underwent about 22 hours of practice using a library of virtual reality video games designed by Adamovich's group. Clinical tests of arm and hand function showed improvement. Adamovich attributed the program's success to the increased intensity of repetitions and interesting exercises. With the assistance of the robotic arm, a key component of the program, the patient may complete many more repetitions than in the usual clinical setting. The researchers also analyzed brain activity before and after training and believe their work is making key neurological changes.

Last fall, the researchers reported their work to the media at a press conference at the Society for Neuroscience Conference, the world's largest source of emerging news on brain science and health in San Diego, CA. More volunteers are continually needed for the study. For information about requirements, contact Gerard G. Fluet, DPT, (732) 986-8621, fluet179@comcast.net.

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Contact: Sheryl Weinstein
sheryl.m.weinstein@njit.edu
973-596-3436
New Jersey Institute of Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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