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Home-Based Telerehabilitation Beneficial for Stroke Patients

Significant improvement seen in resting-state functional connectivity between bilateral M1 areas

elderly woman at computer

THURSDAY, Oct. 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Home-based motor training telerehabilitation is beneficial for stroke patients, with enhanced interhemispheric functional connectivity of the M1 areas, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in Neurology.

Jing Chen, Ph.D., from Fudan University in Shanghai, and colleagues randomly assigned 52 stroke patients with hemiplegia to home-based motor training telerehabilitation or conventional rehabilitation for 12 weeks. The primary outcomes included the Fugl-Meyer assessment (FMA) for upper and lower extremities and modified Barthel index.

The researchers found that at the end of the rehabilitation, the telerehabilitation group had significant improvement in the FMA and resting-state functional connectivity between the bilateral M1 areas compared with the conventional rehabilitation group. In the telerehabilitation group, there was a significant positive association observed for M1-M1 resting-state functional connectivity and FMA change.

"We believe the convenience of rehabbing at home may have helped study participants stick to their rehabilitation programs, and that in turn may have helped them recover motor skills better than their conventionally treated peers," a coauthor said in a statement. "Also, the home environment may have given people more opportunities to participate in, and learn from, real-life family activities."

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