Haptic-based neurorehabilitation in poststroke patients: A feasibility prospective multicentre trial for robotics hand rehabilitation

Andrea Turolla, Omar A. Daud Albasini, Roberto Oboe, Michela Agostini, Paolo Tonin, Stefano Paolucci, Giorgio Sandrini, Annalena Venneri, Lamberto Piron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Haptic robots allow the exploitation of known motor learning mechanisms, representing a valuable option for motor treatment after stroke. The aim of this feasibility multicentre study was to test the clinical efficacy of a haptic prototype, for the recovery of hand function after stroke. Methods. A prospective pilot clinical trial was planned on 15 consecutive patients enrolled in 3 rehabilitation centre in Italy. All the framework features of the haptic robot (e.g., control loop, external communication, and graphic rendering for virtual reality) were implemented into a real-time MATLAB/Simulink environment, controlling a five-bar linkage able to provide forces up to 20 [N] at the end effector, used for finger and hand rehabilitation therapies. Clinical (i.e., Fugl-Meyer upper extremity scale; nine hold pegboard test) and kinematics (i.e., time; velocity; jerk metric; normalized jerk of standard movements) outcomes were assessed before and after treatment to detect changes in patients' motor performance. Reorganization of cortical activation was detected in one patient by fMRI. Results and Conclusions. All patients showed significant improvements in both clinical and kinematic outcomes. Additionally, fMRI results suggest that the proposed approach may promote a better cortical activation in the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number895492
JournalComputational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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