The Relationship Between Spatiotemporal Gait Asymmetry and Balance in Individuals With Chronic Stroke.

The Relationship Between Spatiotemporal Gait Asymmetry and Balance in Individuals With Chronic Stroke.

J Appl Biomech. 2013 May 13;
Lewek MD, Bradley CE, Wutzke CJ, Zinder SM

Falls are common after stroke and often attributed to poor balance. Falls often occur during walking, suggesting that walking patterns may induce a loss of balance. Gait after stroke is frequently spatiotemporally asymmetric, which may decrease balance. The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between spatiotemporal gait asymmetry and balance control. Thirty-nine individuals with chronic stroke walked at comfortable and fast speeds to calculate asymmetry ratios for step length, stance time, and swing time. Balance measures included the Berg Balance Scale, step width during gait, and the weight distribution between legs during standing. Correlational analyses determined the relationships between balance and gait asymmetry. At comfortable and fast gait speeds, step width was correlated with stance time and swing time asymmetries (r=0.39-0.54). Berg scores were correlated with step length and swing time asymmetries (r=-0.36–0.63). During fast walking, the weight distribution between limbs was correlated with stance time asymmetry (r=-0.41). Spatiotemporal gait asymmetry was more closely related to balance measures involving dynamic tasks than static tasks, suggesting that gait asymmetry may be related to the high number of falls post-stroke. Further study to determine if rehabilitation that improves gait asymmetry has a similar influence on balance is warranted. HubMed – rehab


A Comparison of Computation Methods for Leg Stiffness During Hopping.

J Appl Biomech. 2013 May 13;
Hobara H, Inoue K, Kobayashi Y, Ogata T

Despite the presence of several different calculations of leg stiffness during hopping, little is known about how the methodologies produce differences in the leg stiffness. The purpose of this study was to directly compare Kleg during hopping as calculated from three previously published computation methods. Ten male subjects hopped in place on two legs, at four frequencies (2.2, 2.6, 3.0 and 3.4Hz). In this paper, leg stiffness was calculated from the natural frequency of oscillation (method A), the ratio of maximal ground reaction force (GRF) to peak center of mass displacement at the middle of the stance phase (method B), and an approximation based on sine-wave GRF modeling (method C).We found that leg stiffness in all methods increased with an increase in hopping frequency, but Kleg using methods A and B were significantly higher than when using method C at all hopping frequencies. Therefore, care should be taken when comparing leg stiffness obtained by method C with those calculated by other methods. HubMed – rehab


Cognitive rehabilitation for early post-surgery inpatients affected by primary brain tumor: a randomized, controlled trial.

J Neurooncol. 2013 May 16;
Zucchella C, Capone A, Codella V, De Nunzio AM, Vecchione C, Sandrini G, Pace A, Pierelli F, Bartolo M

Cognitive impairment is one of the most common neurological disorders in neuro-oncological patients and exerts a deep negative impact on quality of life interfering with familiar, social and career-related activities. To test the effectiveness of early cognitive rehabilitation treatment for inpatients affected by primary brain tumors. Out of 109 consecutive patients enrolled in the study, 58 patients were randomly assigned to a rehabilitation group or to a control group. The rehabilitation consisted of 16 one-hour individual sessions of therapist-guided cognitive training, spread over 4 weeks, combining computer exercises and metacognitive training. Patients in the control group received usual care without cognitive training. All patients were evaluated by means of a comprehensive neuropsychological battery at the admission (T0) and after 4 weeks (T1). Patients in the rehabilitation group showed a significant improvement of cognitive functions. In particular, the domains that benefited most from the training were visual attention and verbal memory. The control group exhibited only a slightly, not statistically relevant, enhancement of cognitive performances. Cognitive rehabilitation for neuro-oncological inpatients resulted in a significant enhancement of cognitive performances after the training, also providing a foundation for early administration. Future research should be aimed to clarify the patients’ characteristics that predict neuropsychological improvement, to identify the most effective elements in rehabilitative programs and to study the effects of treatment extension to everyday life. HubMed – rehab



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