A new electrical therapy could help patients who suffered a stroke to more their paralyzed hand. According to the American Heart Association, this new stimulation helped patients to improve their hand dexterity more than other treatment they have used.
There are thousands of people who have a stroke every year, in the United States. This results in paralysis of one side of the body. Patients are having difficulties to use one of their hands. Doctors are using low levels of electric current to stimulate the paralyzed hand and improve its function. Therapists are the ones who decide how much time the patient will do this therapy and what will be the intensity of the stimulation.
Researchers from the MetroHealth System, Case Western Reserve University, and the Cleveland Functional Electrical Stimulation Center developed a new electrical therapy. They let the patients control the stimulation by giving them a glove with sensors on the unaffected hand. When a patient opens the healthy hand, they receive the same amount of stimulation in the affected hand. This is more interesting because it involves the patient. He will use both of his hands during the electrical therapy.
Researchers used two groups for the study, The first group used the new glove and the second one received the common therapy. Moreover, they used an electrical stimulator at home. They went also to a therapist to practice their hand tasks. Researchers wanted to see what group had better results after 12 weeks. They discovered that patients who used the new therapy had bigger improvement than those who use the common therapy. Moreover, the new electrical therapy helped people who were not able to move their hands. Most of the patients that received the glove said they could use their hand better after they were involved in the study.
This new electrical therapy could help people improve their hand from home. They will not have to go to a therapist all the time. The glove can be used no matter where you are. There will be more research to discover what are the effects this treatment has on the brain. Researchers have already said they will do another study to confirm the results. If they are right, in a few years we will see many stroke patients who use this glove as the best electrical therapy for a paralyzed hand.
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