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Harnessing smartphone technologies for stroke care, rehabilitation and beyond

An interesting, open access article about the use of smartphones technologies for stroke management… via BMJ Innov

Development and evaluation of a new telerehabilitation system based on VR technology using multisensory feedback for patients with stroke

[Purpose] The purpose of this study was to develop a new telerehabilitation system based on VR technology for training of paralyzed upper and lower extremities and poor balance in patients with stroke. Moreover, the effectiveness of the system was verified by analysis of the recovery of these patients.

[Subjects] Five healthy persons and five people with motor paralysis, caused by cerebrovascular disease, participated. [Methods] The features of our system are as follows: (1) Our system can train upper and lower limbs and balancing with 3D images. (2) A Kinect® is used for user posture detection. (3) A vibrator is used for feedback to a sensory receptor in order to promote the learning effect of motion. Upper limb and balance training were conducted in this study.

[Results] The time necessary for the upper limb and balance training tasks was shortened for the participants with disabilities. The joint angle for the participants with disabilities tended to equate to that of the healthy participants over time. Moreover, our system had no side effects.

[Conclusion] These points suggest that our system is effective and safe. The user interface and assessment of the conditions of patients from a distance should be studied in the future.

via J Phys Ther Sci

Calculate risk of stroke on Apple Watch

Read a review of our stroke app on iMedicalApps! via iMedicalApps.

A Decade of Progress Using Virtual Reality for Poststroke Lower Extremity Rehabilitation: Systematic Review of the Intervention Methods


To develop a systematic review of the literature, to describe the different virtual reality (VR) interventions and interactive videogames applied to the lower extremity (LE) of stroke patients, and to analyse the results according to the most frequently used outcome measures.

Material and Methods

An electronic search of randomized trials between January 2004 and January 2014 in different databases (Medline, Cinahl, Web of Science, PEDro, and Cochrane) was carried out. Several terms (virtual reality, feedback, stroke, hemiplegia, brain injury, cerebrovascular accident, lower limb, leg, and gait) were combined, and finally 11 articles were included according to the established inclusion and exclusion criteria.


The reviewed trials showed a high heterogeneity in terms of study design and assessment tools, which makes it difficult to compare and analyze the different types of interventions. However, most of them found a significant improvement on gait speed, balance and motor function, due to VR intervention.


Although evidence is limited, it suggests that VR intervention (more than 10 sessions) in stroke patients may have a positive impact on balance, and gait recovery. Better results were obtained when a multimodal approach, combining VR and conventional physiotherapy, was used. Flexible software seems to adapt better to patients’ requirements, allowing more specific and individual treatments.

via Biomed Research International

Endovascular Stroke Treatment Outcomes After Patient Selection Based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Clinical Criteria

Importance  Which imaging modality is optimal to select patients for endovascular stroke treatment remains unclear.

Objective  To evaluate the effectiveness of specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and clinical criteria in the selection of patients with acute ischemic stroke for thrombectomy.

Design, Setting, and Participants  In this observational, single-center, prospective cohort study, we studied 72 patients with middle cerebral artery or terminal internal carotid artery occlusion using computed tomographic angiography, followed by core infarct volume determination by diffusion weighted MRI, who underwent thrombectomy after meeting institutional criteria from January 1, 2012, through December 31, 2014. In this period, 31 patients with similar ischemic strokes underwent endovascular treatment without MRI and are categorized as computed tomography only and considered in a secondary analysis.

Interventions  Patients were prospectively classified as likely to benefit (LTB) or uncertain to benefit (UTB) using diffusion-weighted imaging lesion volume and clinical criteria (age, National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score, time from onset, baseline modified Rankin Scale [mRS] score, life expectancy).

Main Outcomes and Measures  The 90-day mRS score, with favorable defined as a 90-day mRS score of 2 or less.

Results  Forty patients were prospectively classified as LTB and 32 as UTB. Reperfusion (71 of 103 patients) and prospective categorization as LTB (40 of 103 patients) were associated with favorable outcomes (P < .001 and P < .005, respectively). Successful reperfusion positively affected the distribution of mRS scores of the LTB cohort (P < .001). Reperfusion was achieved in 27 LTB patients (67.5%) and 24 UTB patients (75.0%) (P = .86). Favorable outcomes were obtained in 21 (52.5%) and 8 (25.0%) of LTB and UTB patients who were treated, respectively (P = .02). Favorable outcomes were observed in 20 of the 27 LTB patients (74.1%) who had successful reperfusion compared with 8 of the 24 UTB patients (33.3%) who had successful reperfusion (P = .004). The ratio of treated to screened patients was 1:3.

Conclusions and Relevance  Prospective classification as LTB by MRI and clinical criteria is associated with likelihood of favorable outcome after thrombectomy, particularly if reperfusion is successful. Selection of patients using MRI compares favorably with selection using computed tomographic techniques with the distinction that a higher proportion of screened patients were treated.

via JAMA Network | JAMA Neurology 

Itemized NIHSS subsets predict positive MRI strokes in patients with mild deficits



While imaging is useful in confirming the diagnosis of ischemic stroke, negative diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) is reported in up to 25% of patients. Our aim was to identify predictors of MRI-positive stroke from the itemized NIHSS.


Data were derived from the Stroke Warning Information and Faster Treatment study from February 2006 to February 2010 among patients with mild deficits (NIHSS 0–5) and a final diagnosis of stroke by a vascular neurologist. All MRI sequences were reviewed for the presence or absence of an acute infarct on DWI. Multivariate logistic regression assessed factors predicting DWI-positive strokes; p < 0.05 was considered significant.


894 patients had a discharge diagnosis of stroke; 709 underwent MRI and 28.0% were DWI negative. All patients with visual field deficits or neglect were DWI positive. On multivariate analysis including total NIHSS (0–2 vs. 3–5) and itemized NIHSS score subsets, predictors of a positive DWI were NIHSS score of 3–5 (OR = 3.3, 95% CI: 1.8–6.1), motor deficits (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.1–2.8), ataxia (OR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.0–3.5), and absence of sensory deficits (OR = 1.7, 95% CI: 1.0–2.7). We developed the NIHSS-m score that predicts DWI positivity in patients with mild deficits in the absence of neglect or visual field deficits.


NIHSS score subsets predict DWI positivity in mild strokes. The presence of neglect or visual field deficits on the NIHSS subsets is most likely to have an MRI correlate even in patients with low NIHSS.

via Journal of the Neurological Sciences