Background. Bilateral arm training (BAT) has shown promise in expediting progress toward upper limb recovery in chronic stroke patients, but its neural correlates are poorly understood. Objective. To evaluate changes in upper limb function and EEG power after a robot-assisted BAT in chronic stroke patients. Methods. In a within-subject design, seven right-handed chronic stroke patients with upper limb paresis received 21 sessions (3 days/week) of the robot-assisted BAT. The outcomes were changes in score on the upper limb section of the Fugl-Meyer assessment (FM), Motricity Index (MI), and Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) evaluated at the baseline (T0), posttraining (T1), and 1-month follow-up (T2). Event-related desynchronization/synchronization were calculated in the upper alpha and the beta frequency ranges. Results. Significant improvement in all outcomes was measured over the course of the study. Changes in FM were significant at T2, and in MAS at T1 and T2. After training, desynchronization on the ipsilesional sensorimotor areas increased during passive and active movement, as compared with T0. Conclusions. A repetitive robotic-assisted BAT program may improve upper limb motor function and reduce spasticity in the chronically impaired paretic arm. Effects on spasticity were associated with EEG changes over the ipsilesional sensorimotor network.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology