The Reason Why People Should Use Their Affected Side
As mentioned in the former post on neuroplasticity, based on many researches of the scholars, we have learned that the affected side (body parts in which movements are suppressed due to the stroke) of the brain-damaged patients could be recovered. Obviously, it would not completely come to the condition prior to the damage but the recuperation will differ in accordance with the amount of effort put into.
Here, ‘effort’ means making patients actively use and move their affected side. However, since most of the patients cannot move their body at will, they avoid using their unaffected side. No matter how strong their will is, they tend to use their normal side (unaffected side) in daily lives.
For example, when opening and closing a door, it takes much more time and effort with the affected arm compared to using normal arm. Naturally as patients stop moving their uncomfortable limb, muscular dystrophy (loss of capability due to the unused muscles) and loss of sense would appear.
- The video of the hemiplegia patient opening and closing the door
Clinicians then wondered if “there would be ways to show that the affected side could function”. The result of the concern is "Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy"(CIMT).
In the research of 1968, Taub & Berman operated a unilateral dorsal Rhizotomy on a monkey. The monkey had completely lost the capability to move its left upper-limb.
By bandaging the normal limb so that it would not be used, the intensive exercise to make the monkey use its affected limb was implemented. As a result, the movement of the affected side improved, almost to the normal condition.
Based on the relevant studies, researchers including Fritz developed "Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy" in 2005, a therapeutic technique that could be applied to humans. This therapy was invented to overcome learned non-use syndrome. It (Force Use) consists of restricting the normal arm and intensively exercising with the damaged arm and hand.
Learned non-use syndrome could fairly be controlled within the rehabilitation treatment. That is, depending on what kind of treatment you receive, learned non-use could diminish. The home environment ideal for patients to train every day with their affected side is strongly required.
Considering these, RAPAEL Smart Rehabilitation Solution was developed. While training with RAPAEL, stroke patients get to concentrate on games. This rehabilitation environment induces the patients to unconsciously use their affected side.
In addition, RAPAEL analyzes the training results of the patients with the artificial intelligence, recommends suitable games and by targeting a goal and level for each game, patients can constantly be motivated to train themselves.