CONTROLLED STUDY OF NEUROPROSTHETIC FUNCTIONAL ELECTRICAL STIMULATION IN SUB-ACUTE POST-STROKE REHABILITATION
Haim Ring A1 and Nechama Rosenthal A1
Objective: Assess the effects of daily neuroprosthetic (NESS Handmaster™) functional electrical stimulation in sub-acute stroke. Design: Controlled study, patients clinically stratified to 2 groups; no active finger movement (10), and partial active finger movements (12), and then randomized to control and neuroprosthesis groups. Observer blinded evaluations at baseline and completion of the 6-week study. Subjects: 22 patients with moderate to severe upper limb paresis 3-6 months post-onset. Methods: Patients in day hospital rehabilitation, receiving physical and occupational therapy 3 times weekly. The neuroprosthesis group used the device at home. Results: The neuroprosthesis group had significantly greater improvements in spasticity, active range of motion and scores on the functional hand tests (those with partial active motion). Of the few patients with pain and oedema, there was improvement only among those in the neuroprosthesis group. There were no adverse reactions. Conclusion: Supplementing standard outpatient rehabilitation with daily home neuroprosthetic activation improves upper limb outcomes.