Navigation Links
Gentle touch may aid multiple sclerosis patients

While gripping, lifting or manipulating an object such as drinking from a cup or placing a book on a shelf is usually easy for most, it can be challenging for those with neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's, or for people who had a stroke. For them, the tight gripping can cause fatigue, making everyday tasks difficult.

A team of University of Illinois at Chicago physical therapists report this month in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair that persons with multiple sclerosis use excessive force when they are lifting objects. In an earlier finding reported in the journal Clinical Neurophysiology, they reported that regaining control and coordination may be as easy as applying a gentle touch to the affected hand from a finger of the opposite hand.

"We studied how this light touch application changes the way people apply force to an object they want to grip," said Alexander Aruin, professor of physical therapy. The study compared eight adults with multiple sclerosis to eight without the disease, gender-matched and of comparable age. "In each case, the grip force required to lift an object decreased," said Aruin.

He found similar results in an earlier study he did of people with arm weakness caused by a stroke.

Why the simple light finger touch application works so well is not fully understood, but Aruin offers a hypothesis.

"It could be due to auxiliary sensory information from the contra-lateral arm," he said. "When we use our second hand and touch the wrist of the target hand, available information to the central nervous system about the hand-object interaction may increase. Without the touch, the information needed to manipulate an object comes only through vision and sensory input from just the target arm and hand."

Aruin and his colleagues tested subjects griping and lifting a variety of objects that they moved in several different ways, directions and velocities. The gentle finger touch always helped to reduce grip force, making the task easier.

The UIC researcher said he and his colleagues plan to test the approach on those with other neurological and muscular diseases to examine the effects.

"We look forward to developing training and rehabilitation procedures on how to use this," said Aruin. "We know that MS patients are prone to fatigue and muscle weakness. This finding may enable them to perform daily activities more independently to improve their quality of life."


Contact: Paul Francuch
University of Illinois at Chicago

Related medicine news :

1. Robots gentle touch aids delicate cancer surgery
2. Florida Gentle Dental Dentists Giving Away Smile Makeover and Orthodontic Braces at 7th Annual Our Kids World Family Fun Festival
3. Be Gentle to Babys Delicate Skin
4. New Breakthrough Treatment is Tough On Lice But Gentle On Kids
5. Toms of Maine Introduces a Patent-Pending New Formula with the Launch of its Natural Clean & Gentle Care and Sensitive Care Toothpastes
6. FDA Grants Over-The-Counter Clearance to GentleWaves(R) for the First Home Use Light-Based Device to Treat Wrinkles
7. Keep Father Time From Marching On: New Laser Treatments Offer Gentle and Effective Skin Resurfacing in a Flash
8. Gentler chemotherapy before stem cell transplant causes long-term remission of follicular lymphoma
9. Bioponic Phytoceuticals Introduces All Natural Baby Product Suite Gentle Mother
10. Fine-Tuning Prosthetic Hands to Restore a Sense of Touch
11. Touch Bionics - Silver Medal Winner of the 2009 Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Awards
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... ... “While riding the bus, I saw a passenger in a wheelchair drenched ... be a convenient and comfortable way to protect them from bad weather, so I ... travel during cold or inclement weather. In doing so, it ensures that the user ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Privately owned Contract Development ... expansion of its current state of the art research, development and manufacturing facility ... increase its manufacturing capacity as well as to support its clients’ growing research ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Students and parents have something to be thankful ... Create Real Impact awards. California Casualty is proud to support the contest ... distracted and reckless driving, the number one killer of young drivers. , Almost ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Mississauga, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... Deborah Williams without a referral for dental implants at her Mississauga, ON ... qualified and experienced in the placement of dental implants. , Missing teeth can ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Catalent ... for drugs, biologics, consumer health and global clinical supply services, today announced that ... Clinical Trial Supply East Asia Conference, to be held at the InterContinental Seoul ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ENDP ... , President and CEO, will discuss corporate updates at the ... New York on Wednesday, December 2, 2015 ... on Investor Relations, and then the link to the event. ... start time to visit the site and download any streaming ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Asia -based ... BioLight and the New Investors will make a direct ... a private placement. The financing will help IOPtima to ... used in the treatment of glaucoma, as well as ... IOPtimate™ system with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 - Will Also Offer ... (CME) --> - Will Also ... (CME) --> - Will ... Medical Education (CME) Elsevier , a ... will feature latest diagnostic imaging textbooks and decision support tools, as ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: