Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Stroke Rehabilitation: A Review of Recent Advancements.

Transcranial direct current stimulation in stroke rehabilitation: a review of recent advancements.

Stroke Res Treat. 2013; 2013: 170256
Gomez Palacio Schjetnan A, Faraji J, Metz GA, Tatsuno M, Luczak A

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a promising technique to treat a wide range of neurological conditions including stroke. The pathological processes following stroke may provide an exemplary system to investigate how tDCS promotes neuronal plasticity and functional recovery. Changes in synaptic function after stroke, such as reduced excitability, formation of aberrant connections, and deregulated plastic modifications, have been postulated to impede recovery from stroke. However, if tDCS could counteract these negative changes by influencing the system’s neurophysiology, it would contribute to the formation of functionally meaningful connections and the maintenance of existing pathways. This paper is aimed at providing a review of underlying mechanisms of tDCS and its application to stroke. In addition, to maximize the effectiveness of tDCS in stroke rehabilitation, future research needs to determine the optimal stimulation protocols and parameters. We discuss how stimulation parameters could be optimized based on electrophysiological activity. In particular, we propose that cortical synchrony may represent a biomarker of tDCS efficacy to indicate communication between affected areas. Understanding the mechanisms by which tDCS affects the neural substrate after stroke and finding ways to optimize tDCS for each patient are key to effective rehabilitation approaches. HubMed – rehab


Playing piano can improve upper extremity function after stroke: case studies.

Stroke Res Treat. 2013; 2013: 159105
Villeneuve M, Lamontagne A

Music-supported therapy (MST) is an innovative approach that was shown to improve manual dexterity in acute stroke survivors. The feasibility of such intervention in chronic stroke survivors and its longer-term benefits, however, remain unknown. The objective of this pilot study was to estimate the short- and long-term effects of a 3-week piano training program on upper extremity function in persons with chronic stroke. A multiple pre-post sequential design was used, with measurements taken at baseline (week0, week3), prior to (week6) and after the intervention (week9), and at 3-week follow-up (week12). Three persons with stroke participated in the 3-week piano training program that combined structured piano lessons to home practice program. The songs, played on an electronic keyboard, involved all 5 digits of the affected hand and were displayed using a user-friendly MIDI program. After intervention, all the three participants showed improvements in their fine (nine hole peg test) and gross (box and block test) manual dexterity, as well as in the functional use of the upper extremity (Jebsen hand function test). Improvements were maintained at follow-up. These preliminary results support the feasibility of using an MST approach that combines structured lessons to home practice to improve upper extremity function in chronic stroke. HubMed – rehab


Recurrent falls in Parkinson’s disease: a systematic review.

Parkinsons Dis. 2013; 2013: 906274
Allen NE, Schwarzel AK, Canning CG

Most people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) fall and many experience recurrent falls. The aim of this review was to examine the scope of recurrent falls and to identify factors associated with recurrent fallers. A database search for journal articles which reported prospectively collected information concerning recurrent falls in people with PD identified 22 studies. In these studies, 60.5% (range 35 to 90%) of participants reported at least one fall, with 39% (range 18 to 65%) reporting recurrent falls. Recurrent fallers reported an average of 4.7 to 67.6 falls per person per year (overall average 20.8 falls). Factors associated with recurrent falls include: a positive fall history, increased disease severity and duration, increased motor impairment, treatment with dopamine agonists, increased levodopa dosage, cognitive impairment, fear of falling, freezing of gait, impaired mobility and reduced physical activity. The wide range in the frequency of recurrent falls experienced by people with PD suggests that it would be beneficial to classify recurrent fallers into sub-groups based on fall frequency. Given that there are several factors particularly associated with recurrent falls, fall management and prevention strategies specifically targeting recurrent fallers require urgent evaluation in order to inform clinical practice. HubMed – rehab


Prosthetic rehabilitation of a patient with an ocular defect: a simplified approach.

Case Rep Ophthalmol Med. 2013; 2013: 207634
Puranik S, Jain A, Ronad S, Ramesh S, Ms J, Kattimani P

Mutilation of a portion of a face can cause a heavy impact on the self-image and personality of an individual. Acceptable cosmetic results usually can be obtained with a facial prosthesis. This paper describes prosthetic rehabilitation of a 60-year-old male patient having a left ocular defect. A technique to fabricate heat polymerizing polymethyl methacrylate was illustrated. The resultant prosthesis was structurally durable and aesthetically acceptable with satisfactory retention. The importance of meticulous treatment planning to tackle the challenges faced in fabricating an ocular prosthesis is explained with the relevant literature. HubMed – rehab



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