Navigation Links
NJIT engineer helps stroke patients regain motor functions in hands, arms
Date:6/10/2010

Helping stroke patients regain use of their hands and arms through innovative robotic and virtual reality-based video game therapies is the focal point of NJIT Associate Professor Sergei Adamovich, a biomedical engineer. Thanks to a $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Adamovich is developing better ways to rehabilitate people who have lost control of their hands, fingers, shoulders and elbows.

Preliminary laboratory results appear promising: A group of 20 recent subjects has shown 20 to 28 percent positive changes in motor function following participation. More volunteers are needed for the study.

"Strokes are the largest cause of disability in adults in the U.S.," Adamovich said. That's why we feel our research is important. More people than ever survive strokes and live longer lives, but they are hobbled by major disabilities. We would like to see that change and give stroke patients the opportunity to live better lives."

While other researchers around the nation have pursued similar therapies, only a few currently focus on hand functions. Adamovich's team is trying to determine whether it is better to train the hand and arm separately or together. Physical therapists collaborating with him assist in the design of therapeutic interventions for the technology.

Two at a time, subjects come to Adamovich's sixth floor laboratory in Fenster Hall on the NJIT campus. Once there, they spend up to three hours a day, five days a week, for two weeks to play video games. In one game, their arms are attached to a robot called the Haptic Master. The robot, supporting their weakened arms, enables them to touch virtual spheres, which if done correctly will explode with a satisfying boom. At first glance, the uninitiated might imagine he has stepped into a video arcade. For finger strengthening exercises, subjects in another room play a simulated piano keyboard on a wall-hung computer screen.

Interestingly, the researchers want subjects as young as 25 and as old as 80. "Age makes no difference when it comes to making improvements," Adamovich adds. Even more surprising, they've had people come to them as many as 15 years past their strokes and make even better progress than individuals six months after the event.

Today's work is based upon a research paper by Adamovich that appeared in 2006: "Sensorimotor training in a virtual reality environment: Does it improve functional recovery post-stroke?"(Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair). The paper detailed an earlier version of what's in his lab today. "We weren't using the kinds of robotic arms that we have now," said Adamovich. "Subjects played computer games using hand/finger motions in a special glove capable of measuring their finger movements." Additionally, the training used only hands, unlike now, in which the technology has enabled hand-training to be combined with robot-assisted elbow and shoulder-training.

Adamovich, a physicist by education, began studying how the brain controls hand and arm function because of an underlying interest in the basic research principles of brain and body movement, planning and execution. Several years ago, he moved into applied research. "We believe that motor control and learning are important when trying to understand rehabilitation," he said. "Neuroscience has demonstrated through animal studies that you can induce changes in adult brain networks through intensive stimulation and sensory motor training. And, thanks to the recent changes in technologyespecially the availability of robotsthis whole area of neuro-rehabilitation has taken off."


'/>"/>

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

Related biology news :

1. $400,000 NRC grant to develop nuclear engineering faculty at Clemson
2. UCLA engineer gets $4 million from Department of Energy to convert CO2 to liquid fuel using electricity
3. UH engineers to improve test for cardiovascular disease
4. Engineering wheat arabinoxylan for new applications
5. Research & Entrepreneurship Day 2010: Engineering Innovation
6. Ultrasound pioneer receives highest award in engineering profession
7. Scientists create artificial human skin with biomechanical properties using tissue engineering
8. Genetically engineered crops benefit many farmers, but the technology needs proper management to remain effective
9. Michael Betenbaugh wins 2010 Cell Culture Engineering award
10. Convergent evolution in lignin biosynthesis: Tools for re-engineering biomass composition
11. Tissue engineering, imaging neuronal circuits featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
NJIT engineer helps stroke patients regain motor functions in hands, arms
(Date:4/11/2017)... 11, 2017 Crossmatch®, a globally-recognized leader ... today announced that it has been awarded a ... Activity (IARPA) to develop next-generation Presentation Attack Detection ... "Innovation has been a driving force within Crossmatch ... allow us to innovate and develop new technologies ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ:   NXTD ... the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin D. Richards ... of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and expertise. ... Gino Pereira , Chief ... to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable expertise as ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 5, 2017 Today HYPR Corp. , ... server component of the HYPR platform is officially ... end-to-end security architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune ... already secured over 15 million users across the financial ... connected home product suites and physical access represent a ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... RoviSys, a leading independent provider ... opening of an office in Taipei, Taiwan. This new location allows RoviSys to ... new relationships in the region. Located in the Neihu area of Taipei, the ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... ... September 19, 2017 , ... Participants of this educational ... fume hood. Along with the advantages and disadvantages of ductless, filtered fume hoods, ... in the laboratory. , Attendees will learn from an industry expert about the ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Poway, CA (PRWEB) , ... September 19, 2017 , ... VetStem Biopharma ’s CEO ... H. Riordan PA, PhD in Riordan’s new book "Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide". ... past 14 years. They bonded over an interest in the potential of stem cell ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... Calif. and Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... September ... ... delivering rapid care during an biological outbreak is about to be eliminated, said ... asked what makes ExcitePCR’s FireflyDX™ technologies different than other pathogen detection ...
Breaking Biology Technology: