Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Therapy for stroke patients improved: More mobility due to deafferentation

Date:
November 5, 2012
Source:
Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Summary:
Painkilling drugs that make many therapies possible are a blessing for patients. Thanks to modern anesthetics, not only can surgical operations be conducted without causing pain, they are also used for various diagnostic procedures. Anesthetics can be very useful in therapies for stroke patients, as psychologists and physicians in Germany are now able to demonstrate.

In the ‘Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy’ (CIMT) the healthy arm is being restrained in a cuff, while the stroke-affected arm and hand are intensely training fine motor skills.
Credit: Jan-Peter Kasper/FSU

Painkilling drugs that make many therapies possible are a blessing for patients. Thanks to modern anesthetics, not only can surgical operations be conducted without causing pain, they are also used for various diagnostic procedures. Anesthetics can be very useful in therapies for stroke patients, as psychologists and physicians of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) and the University Hospital Jena are now able to demonstrate.

Related Articles


In the Journal of Neuroscience the researchers present the results of their study, showing how a local anesthetic can distinctly improve the motor skills of patients after a stroke.

"Many stroke patients suffer from chronic impairment of the hand or of the complete arm," Professor Dr. Thomas Weiss explains. Together with expert colleagues the psychologist of the department of Biological and Clinical Psychology at Jena University has been working for a number of years on a specialized medical training therapy which clearly enhances the mobility of stroke patients. In the 'Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy' (CIMT) the healthy arm is being restrained in a cuff, while the stroke-affected arm and hand are intensely training fine motor skills. Patients are asked to carry out tasks such as stacking small toy blocks or putting tiny pins into a perforated board. Daily activities like washing one's hand are part of the training. "Nearly every affected person benefits from this training," Weiss's colleague Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Miltner says. The chair of Biological and Clinical Psychology developed the therapy together with American colleagues and refers to the comprehensive study results about the efficiency of the program. "We are happy to carry out this therapy on many patients -- together with our colleagues from the psychology department in the neurological day hospital," the director of the clinic for Neurology, Prof. Dr. Otto Witte, stresses.

In addition, the impact of the exercise therapy could be clearly enhanced when the sensitivity of the affected arm was lowered by an anesthetic, as the interdisciplinary Jena team was able to demonstrate. In their study, the scientists examined 36 patients. Half of the patients had a local anesthetic cream applied on their forearms. Meanwhile the other patient group only received a placebo. Afterwards, both patient groups went into their exercise therapy for a day.

"Unsurprisingly, the motor performance of all patients was strongly enhanced," Prof. Weiss commented on the result. "Beyond that, it became obvious that the patients who received the anesthetic benefited even more than the placebo group," Weiss says. The researchers could show the reason for this effect using magnetoencephalographic imaging (MEG) of the patients. The temporary interruption of nerve impulses from the forearm leads to a decreasing activity in the brain areas processing these impulses. "At the same time neighboring brain cells are activated more strongly," the Jena Psychologist explains. Thus the brain reacts to the missing impulses from the forearm with an increased sensitivity in the hand as the MEG images showed. Consequently the motor performance improves as well. "This process starts within minutes," Thomas Weiss says.

A subsequent study is going to show whether the combination of local anesthetics and therapeutic exercise will improve the mobility of stroke patients in the long term.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Friedrich Schiller University Jena. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. E. Sens, U. Teschner, W. Meissner, C. Preul, R. Huonker, O. W. Witte, W. H. R. Miltner, T. Weiss. Effects of Temporary Functional Deafferentation on the Brain, Sensation, and Behavior of Stroke Patients. Journal of Neuroscience, 2012; 32 (34): 11773 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5912-11.2012

Cite This Page:

Friedrich Schiller University Jena. "Therapy for stroke patients improved: More mobility due to deafferentation." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105081627.htm>.
Friedrich Schiller University Jena. (2012, November 5). Therapy for stroke patients improved: More mobility due to deafferentation. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105081627.htm
Friedrich Schiller University Jena. "Therapy for stroke patients improved: More mobility due to deafferentation." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121105081627.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins