Recovery from stroke or other neurological injury affecting the upper limb is daunting. Stroke victims encounter many and changing hurdles as they work to regain function. We link here to an excellent white paper by Dr. Raghavan that details the progression of dysfunction from initial weakness to spasticity and in many cases devastating abnormal contractures.
Our approach to rehabilitation is revolutionary but it is based soundly on several therapeutic principles shown in scientific studies to enhance recovery. These principles (described below) have driven the design of our first product, the Bimanual Arm Trainer (BAT), and will underlie the design of all of our rehabilitation devices that will follow.
The first publication with the BAT, which documents upper limb improvement following its therapeutic use, can be accessed here. Preliminary results from a larger study were presented at the Society for Neuroscience in 2018. The results of this confirming study will be posted on our website after publication.
Underlying therapeutic principles:
(citations of supporting research studies can be accessed here)
1. Mirror therapy facilitates recovery.
Both the weak and strong arms move in mirrored motion on the BAT.
2. Bimanual therapy engages both sides of the body and brain in regaining movement.
The BAT provides a way to move both arms simultaneously even if the patient is hemiplegic.
3. Video gaming increases motivation for exercise.
Patients play video games when using the BAT. Focused attention to the games and smooth well-timed movements are necessary to achieve high scores.
4. Real-time feedback facilitates error correction.
Our video games include real-time feedback permitting error correction.
5. Repetition of normal movements in the absence of abnormal compensatory movements is critical.
The BAT supports both arms which facilitates the proper execution of each movement. Correct movements can be repeated 20-30 times per minute while playing a video game.