PROVIDENCE, R.I., April 19 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say patients may be able to gain limb movement years after having a stroke.
Researchers at Brown University in Providence, R.I., said patients can show meaningful gains in limb movement through intensive therapy with specially trained personnel and newly created robotic aids.
The study, published online in the New England Journal of Medicine, suggested rehabilitation therapy, usually given only in the first six months after stroke, could bring improvement 5 years after.
The researchers said the rehabilitation was high intensity — 1,024 upper-arm movements done three times a week with the help of a therapists and robots.
“We’ve shown that with the right therapy, they can see improvements in movement, everyday function and quality of life,” lead author Albert Lo said in a statement.
The three-year U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs randomized control trial at four sites involved 127 veterans — all of whom suffered a stroke and had moderate to severe impairment of an arm. Lo and colleagues said the results challenge conventional wisdom that stroke victims can’t recover physiological function.
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