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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:2434-7. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5335400.

Use of a pneumatic glove for hand rehabilitation following stroke.

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Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.


Hand impairment is common following stroke and is often resistant to traditional therapy methods. Successful interventions have stressed the importance of repeated practice to facilitate rehabilitation. Thus, we have developed a servo-controlled glove to assist extension of individual digits to promote practice of grasp-and-release movements with the hand. This glove, the PneuGlove, permits free movement of the arm throughout its workspace. A novel immersive virtual reality environment was created for training movement in conjunction with the device. Seven stroke survivors with chronic hand impairment participated in 18 training sessions with the PneuGlove over 6 weeks. Overall, subjects displayed a significant 6-point improvement in the upper extremity score on the Fugl-Meyer assessment and this increase was maintained at the evaluation held one month after conclusion of all training (p < 0.01). The majority of this gain came from an increase in the hand/wrist score (3.8-point increase, p < 0.01). Thus, the system shows promise for rehabilitative training of hand movements after stroke.

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