Art meets science – empowering stroke patients to regain muscular control through creative graphics technology, psycho-physiology and neuroplasticity.
This source preferred by Simon Thompson
Authors: Thompson, S.B.N.
Journal: International Journal of Arts and Sciences
Treating patients with a cerebrovascular accident or stroke is complicated by severity and site of brain lesion. Muscular control is lost when neural pathways are interrupted or damaged due to embolus, thrombosis or ruptured aneurysm. Return of movement is further hindered by sustained spasticity of muscle groups or inflammation or severance to functionally important neural pathways. Neuro-feedback mechanisms have been explored in the past with some success. A new, improved and innovative method is presented that makes use of psycho-physiology techniques providing immediate visual, auditory and neurological feedback via a fast switching device that relays neuro-muscular movement during rehabilitative tasks and exercises. Visual and auditory signals enable the patient to make use of neurological activity in a purposeful manner, re-directing it to particular tasks. Concentrating on a series of tones elicited via a computer console and by vigilance of changing visual graphics displays allows the patient to accurately control unwanted activity and enables the body to re-learn previously damaged neural circuits. Patients gaining the ability to re-direct and re-route neural pathways have made significant gains in returning function to their leg muscles, particularly to the quadriceps group. These are very often the first groups of muscles to be affected during stroke and make the patient wheelchairbound and often permanently disabled. Occupational and social functioning is affected and quality of life is altered. Patients who are able to re-gain posture and re-learn to walk are empowered and have a better chance of returning to social and occupational settings. Trials in the United Kingdom have shown significant benefits for patients using neuro-feedback. Significant success by these patients has provided researchers with the potential benefits of using neuro-feedback in rehabilitation and increases our scientific and clinical knowledge of neuro-plasticity in even the large muscle groups of the damaged human body. This technology bridges creative artistic graphics technology with thorough evidencebased science.