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Vallotti B.,IFCA GIOMI Casa di Cura Ulivella e Glicini | Macri G.,Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies | Tosti V.,IFCA GIOMI Casa di Cura Ulivella e Glicini | Panunzi C.,IFCA GIOMI Casa di Cura Ulivella e Glicini | And 4 more authors.
Giornale di Gerontologia | Year: 2010

Introduction. The aim of the study was to evaluate clinical characteristics of patients suited for ULTRA®, an operational computer assisted machine composed by an articulated arm which allows movements from 2 to 7 degrees of freedom; the effects of a training analysing two performance indexes (PI) accuracy (Err Area%) and movement time (Δt) and Δt on an untrained task (circular trajectory) in patients affected by stroke. Subjects and methods. We observed 24 patients with upper limb paresis aged 41-83 (69.9 ± 12.3 years). According to their ability to use the machine patients were divided in 2 groups: fit for ULTRA® treatment (TU Group) or not (NU Group). Both groups received neuropsychological testing, motricity, sensitivity and muscular tone evaluation. Then we studied the effects of a training with this device with planar reaching movements in 5 stroke patients in chronic stage (2 hemorragic, 3 ischemic stroke; 3 right, 2 left paresis), aged 51-82 (64.4 ± 15.3 years). A control group of 5 healthy subjects was included. Results. 70.8% patients could use the machine. NU Group showed the presence of ideational apraxia more then TU Group, but no differences in other clinical characteristics. Err Area% was lower at the beginning of treatment, increased after first few sessions, then decreased again at the end of training. Δt significantly decreased during the course of training, a behaviour shown also in an untrained task. Discussion. The majority of patients can use ULTRA® and ideational apraxia is the only important limitation for its use. Training showed a trend toward improvement of PI in stroke patients.

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