Locomotor Training for Walking After Spinal Cord Injury.

Locomotor training for walking after spinal cord injury.

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012; 11: CD006676
Mehrholz J, Kugler J, Pohl M

BACKGROUND: A traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI) is a lesion of neural elements of the spinal cord that can result in any degree of sensory and motor deficit, autonomic or bowel dysfunction. Improvement of locomotor function is one of the primary goals for people with SCI. Locomotor training for walking is therefore used in rehabilitation after SCI and might help to improve a person’s ability to walk. However, a systematic review of the evidence is required to assess the effects and acceptability of locomotor training after SCI. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of locomotor training on improvement in walking for people with traumatic SCI. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Cochrane Injuries Group’s Specialised Register (searched November 2011); the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 4); MEDLINE (Ovid) (1966 to November 2011); EMBASE (Ovid) (1980 to November 2011); CINAHL (1982 to November 2011); AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine Database) (1985 to November 2011); SPORTDiscus (1949 to November 2011); PEDro (the Physiotherapy Evidence database) (searched November 2011); COMPENDEX (engineering databases) (1972 to November 2011); and INSPEC (1969 to November 2011). We also searched the online trials databases Current Controlled Trials (www.controlled-trials.com/isrctn) and Clinical Trials (www.clinicaltrials.gov). We handsearched relevant conference proceedings, checked reference lists of relevant published papers and contacted study authors in an effort to identify published, unpublished and ongoing trials. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) involving people with SCI that compared locomotor training to a control of any other exercise or no treatment. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently selected trials for inclusion, assessed trial quality and extracted data. The primary outcomes were the speed of walking and walking capacity at final follow-up. MAIN RESULTS: Five RCTs involving 309 people are included in this review. Overall, the results were inconclusive. There was no statistically significant superior effect of any locomotor training approach on walking function after SCI compared with any other kind of physical rehabilitation. The use of bodyweight supported treadmill training as locomotor training for people after SCI did not significantly increase walking velocity (0.03 m/sec with a 95% confidence interval (CI) -0.05 to 0.11; P = 0.52; I(2) = 22%) nor did it increase walking capacity (-1.3 metres (95% CI -41 to 40); P = 0.95; I(2) = 62%). However, in one study involving 74 people the group receiving robotic-assisted locomotor training had reduced walking capacity compared with people receiving any other intervention, a finding which needs further investigation. In all five studies there were no differences in adverse events or drop-outs between study groups. AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: There is insufficient evidence from RCTs to conclude that any one locomotor training strategy improves walking function more than another for people with SCI. The effects especially of robotic-assisted locomotor training are not clear, therefore research in the form of large RCTs, particularly for robotic training, is needed. Specific questions about which type of locomotor training might be most effective in improving walking function for people with SCI need to be explored.
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Rehabilitation for ankle fractures in adults.

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012; 11: CD005595
Lin CW, Donkers NA, Refshauge KM, Beckenkamp PR, Khera K, Moseley AM

BACKGROUND: Rehabilitation after ankle fracture can begin soon after the fracture has been treated, either surgically or non-surgically, by the use of different types of immobilisation that allow early commencement of weight-bearing or exercise. Alternatively, rehabilitation, including the use of physical or manual therapies, may start following the period of immobilisation. This is an update of a Cochrane review first published in 2008. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effects of rehabilitation interventions following conservative or surgical treatment of ankle fractures in adults. SEARCH METHODS: We searched the Specialised Registers of the Cochrane Bone, Joint and Muscle Trauma Group and the Cochrane Rehabilitation and Related Therapies Field, CENTRAL via The Cochrane Library (2011 Issue 7), MEDLINE via PubMed, EMBASE, CINAHL, PEDro, AMED, SPORTDiscus and clinical trials registers up to July 2011. In addition, we searched reference lists of included studies and relevant systematic reviews. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials with adults undergoing any interventions for rehabilitation after ankle fracture were considered. The primary outcome was activity limitation. Secondary outcomes included quality of life, patient satisfaction, impairments and adverse events. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently screened search results, assessed risk of bias and extracted data. Risk ratios and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated for dichotomous variables, and mean differences or standardised mean differences and 95% CIs were calculated for continuous variables. End of treatment and end of follow-up data were presented separately. For end of follow-up data, short term follow-up was defined as up to three months after randomisation, and long-term follow-up as greater than six months after randomisation. Meta-analysis was performed where appropriate. MAIN RESULTS: Thirty-eight studies with a total of 1896 participants were included. Only one study was judged at low risk of bias. Eight studies were judged at high risk of selection bias because of lack of allocation concealment and over half the of the studies were at high risk of selective reporting bias.Three small studies investigated rehabilitation interventions during the immobilisation period after conservative orthopaedic management. There was limited evidence from two studies (106 participants in total) of short-term benefit of using an air-stirrup versus an orthosis or a walking cast. One study (12 participants) found 12 weeks of hypnosis did not reduce activity or improve other outcomes.Thirty studies investigated rehabilitation interventions during the immobilisation period after surgical fixation. In 10 studies, the use of a removable type of immobilisation combined with exercise was compared with cast immobilisation alone. Using a removable type of immobilisation to enable controlled exercise significantly reduced activity limitation in five of the eight studies reporting this outcome, reduced pain (number of participants with pain at the long term follow-up: 10/35 versus 25/34; risk ratio (RR) 0.39, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.22 to 0.68; 2 studies) and improved ankle dorsiflexion range of motion. However, it also led to a higher rate of mainly minor adverse events (49/201 versus 20/197; RR 2.30, 95% CI 1.49 to 3.56; 7 studies).During the immobilisation period after surgical fixation, commencing weight-bearing made a small improvement in ankle dorsiflexion range of motion (mean difference in the difference in range of motion compared with the non-fractured side at the long term follow-up 6.17%, 95% CI 0.14 to 12.20; 2 studies). Evidence from one small but potentially biased study (60 participants) showed that neurostimulation, an electrotherapy modality, may be beneficial in the short-term. There was little and inconclusive evidence on what type of support or immobilisation was the best. One study found no immobilisation improved ankle dorsiflexion and plantarflexion range of motion compared with cast immobilisation, but another showed using a backslab improved ankle dorsiflexion range of motion compared with using a bandage.Five studies investigated different rehabilitation interventions following the immobilisation period after either conservative or surgical orthopaedic management. There was no evidence of effect for stretching or manual therapy in addition to exercise, or exercise compared with usual care. One small study (14 participants) at a high risk of bias found reduced ankle swelling after non-thermal compared with thermal pulsed shortwave diathermy. AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: There is limited evidence supporting early commencement of weight-bearing and the use of a removable type of immobilisation to allow exercise during the immobilisation period after surgical fixation. Because of the potential increased risk of adverse events, the patient’s ability to comply with the use of a removable type of immobilisation to enable controlled exercise is essential. There is little evidence for rehabilitation interventions during the immobilisation period after conservative orthopaedic management and no evidence for stretching, manual therapy or exercise compared to usual care following the immobilisation period. Small, single studies showed that some electrotherapy modalities may be beneficial. More clinical trials that are well-designed and adequately-powered are required to strengthen current evidence.
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Information provision for stroke patients and their caregivers.

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012; 11: CD001919
Forster A, Brown L, Smith J, House A, Knapp P, Wright JJ, Young J

BACKGROUND: Research shows that stroke patients and their families are dissatisfied with the information provided and have a poor understanding of stroke and associated issues. OBJECTIVES: To assess the effectiveness of information provision strategies in improving the outcome for stroke patients or their identified caregivers, or both. SEARCH METHODS: For this update we searched the Cochrane Stroke Group Trials Register (June 2012), the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled trials (CENTRAL), the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE), the NHS Economic Evaluation Database (EED), and the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Database (The Cochrane Library June, 2012), MEDLINE (1966 to June 2012), EMBASE (1980 to June 2012), CINAHL (1982 to June 2012) and PsycINFO (1974 to June 2012). We also searched ongoing trials registers, scanned bibliographies of relevant articles and books and contacted researchers. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised trials involving patients or carers of patients with a clinical diagnosis of stroke or transient ischaemic attack (TIA) where an information intervention was compared with standard care, or where information and another therapy were compared with the other therapy alone. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two review authors independently assessed trial eligibility and methodological quality and extracted data. Primary outcomes were knowledge about stroke and stroke services, and impact on mood. MAIN RESULTS: We have added four new trials to this update. This review now includes 21 trials involving 2289 patient and 1290 carer participants. Nine trials evaluated a passive and 12 trials an active information intervention. Meta-analyses showed a significant effect in favour of the intervention on patient knowledge (standardised mean difference (SMD) 0.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.12 to 0.46, P < 0.001), carer knowledge (SMD 0.74, 95% CI 0.06 to 1.43, P = 0.03), one aspect of patient satisfaction (odds ratio (OR) 2.07, 95% CI 1.33 to 3.23, P = 0.001), and patient depression scores (mean difference (MD) -0.52, 95% CI -0.93 to -0.10, P = 0.01). There was no significant effect (P > 0.05) on number of cases of anxiety or depression in patients, carer mood or satisfaction, or death. Qualitative analyses found no strong evidence of an effect on other outcomes. Post-hoc subgroup analyses showed that active information had a significantly greater effect than passive information on patient mood but not on other outcomes. AUTHORS’ CONCLUSIONS: There is evidence that information improves patient and carer knowledge of stroke, aspects of patient satisfaction, and reduces patient depression scores. However, the reduction in depression scores was small and may not be clinically significant. Although the best way to provide information is still unclear there is some evidence that strategies that actively involve patients and carers and include planned follow-up for clarification and reinforcement have a greater effect on patient mood.
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What is Overt and what is Covert in Congenital Prosopagnosia?

Filed under: Rehab Centers

Neuropsychol Rev. 2012 Nov 15;
Rivolta D, Palermo R, Schmalzl L

The term covert recognition refers to recognition without awareness. In the context of face recognition, it refers to the fact that some individuals show behavioural, electrophysiological or autonomic indices of recognition in the absence of overt, conscious recognition. Originally described in cases of people that have lost their ability to overtly recognize faces (acquired prosopagnosia, AP), covert face recognition has more recently also been described in cases of congenital prosopagnosia (CP), who never develop typical overt face recognition skills. The presence of covert processing in a developmental disorder such as CP is a particularly intriguing phenomenon, and its investigation is relevant for a variety of reasons. From a theoretical point of view, it is useful to help shed light on the cognitive and neural underpinnings of face recognition deficits. From a clinical point of view, it has the potential to aid the design of rehabilitation protocols aimed at improving face recognition skills in this population. In the current review we selectively summarize the recent literature on covert face recognition in CP, highlight its main findings, and provide a theoretical interpretation for them.
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