Sensor-based technology for upper limb rehabilitation in patients with multiple sclerosis: A randomized controlled trial

Marco Tramontano, Giovanni Morone, Sara De Angelis, Laura Casagrande Conti, Giovanni Galeoto, Maria Grazia Grasso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Sensor-based technological therapy devices may be good candidates for neuromotor rehabilitation of people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), especially for treating upper extremities function limitations. The sensor-based device rehabilitation is characterized by interactive therapy games with audio-visual feedback that allows training the movement of shoulders, elbows, and wrist, measuring the strength and the active range of motion of upper limb, registering data in an electronic database to quantitatively monitoring measures and therapy progress. Objective: This study aimed to investigate the effects of sensor-based motor rehabilitation in add-on to the conventional neurorehabilitation, on increasing the upper limb functions of patients with MS. Methods: Thirty patients were enrolled in the study and randomly assigned to the experimental group and the control group. The training consisting of twelve sessions of upper limb training was compared with twelve sessions of upper limb sensory-motor training, without robotic support. Both rehabilitation programs were performed for 40 minutes three times a week, for 4 weeks, in addition to conventional therapy. All patients were evaluated at the baseline (T0) and after 4 weeks of training (T1). Results: The within-subject analysis showed a statistically significant improvement in both groups, in the Modified Barthel Index and in the Rivermead Mobility Index scores and a significant improvement in Multiple Sclerosis Quality of Life-54 in the experimental. The analysis of effectiveness revealed that, compared with baseline (T0), the improvement percentage in all clinical scale scores was greater in the experimental group than the control group. Conclusions: Proposed training provides an intensive and functional-oriented rehabilitation that objectively evaluates achieved progress through exercises. Therefore, it can represent a good complementary strategy for hand rehabilitation in MS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-341
Number of pages9
JournalRestorative Neurology and Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • hand rehabilitation
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • sensor-based therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology


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