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The effect of EMG triggered electrical stimulation plus task practice on arm function in chronic stroke patients with moderate-severe arm deficits

Singer, B.J, Vallence, A.M., Cleary, S., Cooper, I. and Loftus, A.M (2013) The effect of EMG triggered electrical stimulation plus task practice on arm function in chronic stroke patients with moderate-severe arm deficits. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 31 (6). pp. 681-691.

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Link to Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/RNN-130319
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Abstract

PURPOSE: We examined the feasibility and outcome of electromyographically triggered electrical muscle stimulation (EMG-ES) plus unilateral or bilateral task specific practice on arm function in chronic stroke survivors with moderate-severe hemiplegia. Transcranial magnetic stimulation was used to examine inter-hemispheric inhibition (IHI) acting on the stroke-affected hemisphere in a subset of eight participants. METHODS: Twenty-one stroke survivors (14 males; mean time post stroke 57.9 months) participated in this pilot investigation. Participants underwent a six-week program of daily EMG-ES training with random assignment to concurrent task practice using the stroke-affected hand only or both hands. The upper-extremity subscale of the Fugl-Meyer (FMUE) and the Arm Motor Ability Test (AMAT) were completed at baseline, 0-, 1-, and 3-months post-intervention. RESULTS: Following the intervention, FMUE (F(3, 57) = 3.89, p = .01, etap2 = .17) and AMAT (F(3, 57) = 12.6, p = .01, etap2 = .39) scores improved, and remained better than baseline at three months re-assessment. The difference between groups was not significant. A non-significant decrease in IHI was observed post-intervention. CONCLUSIONS: An intensive program of EMG-ES assisted functional training is feasible, well tolerated, and leads to improvements in moderate-severe deficits of arm function post stroke. Larger placebo controlled studies are needed to explore any advantage of bilateral over unilateral EMG-ES assisted training.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Publisher: IOS Press
Copyright: The Author
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/27836
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