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Home run for stroke innovation

Home run for stroke innovation

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When “combined with conventional rehabilitation” it has the potential to improve motor and cognitive performance in neurologic patients alongside “additional benefits” (Maier M et al, 2019).

New tests of its efficacy continue to emerge, while technological advancement is blurring the lines between the real and virtually real.

Few VR rehabilitation systems can boast as much clinical evidence as that developed by Barcelona tech firm Eodyne in partnership with SPECS-lab, part of the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC).

The Rehabilitation Gaming System (RGS) has been over 15 years in the making (Ballester et al, 2019) – and is now used in 50+ hospitals in Europe, the US and South America.

It brings together artificial intelligence, sensor technology and gamified exercises.

It takes up little room in clinics and hospitals – with just a screen, motion tracker and a pair of wearable “sleeves” with calibration sensors.

And it certainly packs a punch, helping people with stroke, as well as other neurological conditions including traumatic brain injury, to reclaim lost functions.

In terms of hand strength and function, it enables motor training of hand supination and pronation, grasp and release, pinch, finger extension, general strength and bimanual coordination.

Comprehensive upper limb training is also supported, in areas such as reaching, range and speed control and alternate coordination.

Cognitive training is delivered in the form of sustained and divided attention, action planning and memory.

The firm has also developed full body applications.

Eodyne is now working on a project funded by the European Union-backed healthcare innovation group EIT Health, and involving various clinical, academic

and technology partners, to dramatically spread the reach of RGS. The RGS@HOME project aims to develop a home version of the system to assist patients with motor and cognitive recovery after a stroke.

The solution will speed-up recovery and, by allowing for home treatment, drastically reduce the length of hospital treatment that patients require.

Eodyne’s business development director Santiago Brandi tells NR Times on a busy stand at the Medica conference in Dusseldorf: “When people go to outpatient rehabilitation, they normally spend up to six months receiving rehabilitation.

“This may involve ambulance trips and other use of infrastructure resources. The idea is that we can discharge them earlier by providing a tool to deliver home-based rehabilitation.

“With just a computer and a sensor you could train as many hours per day as you can, which is very important for recovery.

“We’re currently conducting scientific preparation of the technology and validation studies. In 2020, we’ll be testing the system in patient homes in Sweden, France and Spain.

“The science behind it and the clinical effect have already been validated, so we’ll instead be validating the usability and the adherence of patients. Then in 2021 we hope to commercialise it.”

Under current plans, the cost of the product will bein the region of about £80 per patient per month to hospitals or trusts.

“The idea is to bring about a massive reduction in healthcare costs,” says Brandi, who believes Eodyne’s advantage in a competitive market of rehab aids is the weight of clinical evidence gathered over 15 years.

Also, the company’s lab is building “an ecosystem of stroke products” – including one related to treating speech difficulties – that RGS users could benefit from in future.

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Video: everyday vs specialist tech

Assistive technology Expert Andy Fell joins Irwin Mitchell law firm for an in-depth exploration of the very latest independence-boosting devices and platforms.

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Technology plays a day to day role in our lives and mobile phones, tablets, Alexa and Siri are common place.

Imagine the impact on your life if you were no longer able to interact with a touch screen or keyboard or give voice commands….

In this virtual event, Assistive Technology expert Andy Fell gives practical demonstrations of how everyday technology and specialist technology can be used to help give independence to those who need it most and why specialist technology may be needed.

During the event hosted by Lauren Haas, personal injury solicitor at Irwin Mitchell LLP, Andy goes into detail about what apps and gadgets are on the market, how everyday technology can be optimised such as the Amazon Alexa, and answered a number of questions ranging from touch screen sensitivity to smart watch reminders.

Case managers, ancillary medical professionals, as well as interested members in healthcare, social care, parents and clients may find this recording useful, as well as anyone caring for, working or living with people such as dementia sufferers or sufferers of other conditions which restrict their mobility.

Andy Fell is an independent disability and assistive technology (AT) consultant with almost twenty years’ experience working with all disabilities and age groups.

He is a qualified Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired and, since qualification, has lectured on the use of assistive technology and role of AT in the life of disabled people.

He has worked with a wide range of charitable organisations including British Dyslexia Association, was head of assistive technology for Guide Dogs for the Blind and National Disability Advisor for the Royal Yacht Association.

He has also worked for blue chip companies, the emergency services and various government departments including Department for Work and Pensions.

Andy is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, chairman and founding trustee of the Wetwheels Foundation and sat on the British Dyslexia Association – Workplace Assessors Professional Review Panel.

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The relationship between music and running

By Daniel Thomas, joint managing director of Chroma Therapies.

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By Daniel Thomas, joint managing director of Chroma Therapies

With its ability to produce new neural pathways, Neurologic Music Therapy is able to encourage movement, co-ordination, improve speech and language, and improve the ability to read/feel emotions, reactions and more, in people living with catastrophic injuries.

This is because music automatically connects to the brain. And this automaticity is what makes music so powerful.

Music also has to ability to push your training capabilities farther and faster especially in running.

This is why a running playlist is the ideal accompaniment to any runner.

Each songs tempo stimulates the brain, evoking a running response of either a faster pace or a steady rhythm depending on what you want to achieve.

For a faster pace, a good running playlist should contain songs with 150-180bpm.

Unfortunately, with not many songs out there using that speed (unless you enjoy rock, metal or speed garage for running) than the other option is to choose songs with 75-90bpm, as this tempo is perfect for a steady rhythm and maximising efficiency.

Do you recall an earlier blog where we discussed cadence and stride length using NMT for preventing falls in the elderly?

We suggested music with a high bpm count promotes movement, good cadence and walking speed, so songs like Nancy Sinatra’s ‘These Boots are Made for Walkin’, which has 85 bpm, is ideal.

BPM strongly correlates to step cadence.

Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS) is an important aspect of NMT.

Predictable rhythmic structure allows the sensori-motor system to move in sync with the beat.

This is, in essence, why music is important to runners, as it has the ability to communicate with the brain in order to help maintain a steady pace or increase speed depending on the bpm.

When it comes to mental wellbeing, we will always discuss music’s ability to improve mental wellbeing, and its effect can also be attributed to runners.

Music’s ability to improve stride, cadence and style, to produce better and better runs, and enable runners to achieve personal goals also have a positive effect upon mental wellbeing.

A sense of accomplishment. And with the right playlist, runners can end each run on a high.

We also like to discuss how NMT is more effective when it is personalised to that individual.

The same can be said in the case of a runner. A playlist that includes, not only songs with the ideal tempo for them, but also have some personal meaning, have the greatest positive effect upon runners.

The more enjoyable the run, the less fatigue is experienced. This may be due to the fact that music is able to interfere with the parts of the brain that communicate fatigue, essentially causing a distraction, so less fatigue is experienced.

For runners, the relationship between music and running can be seen to be just as effective and important as the relationship between music and recovering from a brain injury.

Its ability to improve running capability, speed, motivation, and promote mental wellbeing is what makes the difference between a run just being a run and reaching ‘Flow State’ – the mental state where the runner is in the moment of running – no distractions, and the run becomes…euphoric.

Read more: Running in the name of mental health

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Concussion could lead to depression, ADHD, dementia and Parkinson’s – study

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A new study has revealed a link between concussion and the risk of being diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, mood and anxiety disorders, dementia and Parkinson’s disease later in life.

Despite ‘clinical recovery’ from concussion typically lasting one week, a team of researchers from the University of Manitoba suspected there may be longer term effects. They used 25 years of population-based health data between 1990 and 2015, involving almost 50,000 cases of concussion from people living in Manitoba, Canada.

They found that concussion was associated with an increased risk of being diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), mood and anxiety disorders (MADs), dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

After analysing the population data, they found that concussion was linked to an increased risk of diagnosis of ADHD, dementia and Parkinson’s.

Women who had a concussion were at greater risk of developing ADHD and MADs, but there were no differences between men and women for the risk of developing dementia or Parkinson’s.

Multiple concussions didn’t affect the risk of later being diagnosed with ADHD, but a second concussion increased the risk of dementia, while exposure to more than three concussions increased the risk of being diagnosed with MADs.

While previous studies have found links between concussion and ADHD, dementia, Parkinson’s and MADs, most have relied on patients self-reporting their symptoms, the researchers write.

However, this study can only show an association, not cause and effect.

The mechanism behind this increased risk is unknown, but the researchers state it’s possible that the pathways of some biomarkers that are dysregulated in ADHD, Mads, dementia and Parkinson’s, namely, cortisol, are also affected after a concussion.

The paper, published in the BMJ journal, states that future research is needed to explore the relationships between concussion and ADHD, MADs, dementia and Parkinson’s in other populations.

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