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American Stroke Association Late-Breaking Science News Report: Stroke Survivors Can Improve Functioning of Paralyzed Arm Years After Stroke
Date:2/26/2010

  • At 12 weeks — the end of therapy — none of the groups showed significant improvement in motor function.
  • At 36 weeks, robot-assisted therapy proved significantly superior to usual care in improving arm function (3 point improvement on the Fugl-Meyer scale).  Intensive-comparative therapy showed similar improvements, without statistical differences compared to robot-assisted therapy.
  • The patients receiving robot-assisted therapy also reported significant improvements in quality of life compared to usual care (6 points on the Stroke Impact Scale).

"These findings offer hope for all with chronic stroke impairment," Lo said.  "Intensive, repetitive therapy could potentially benefit legs and cognitive function as well as arms."

Each year, about 795,000 Americans suffer a stroke, according to the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. Of the 6.4 million U.S. stroke survivors alive today, as many as 15 percent to 30 percent are considered "permanently disabled."

Co-authors are Peter Guarino<
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SOURCE American Heart Association
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