Investigating the effects of a 6-week robotic training program for persons with multiple sclerosis


Study Title: Investigating the effects of a 6-week robotic training program for persons with multiple sclerosis
Rationale: Regardless of how wrist and arm dysfunction occur, it is commonly present in those with MS, making activities of daily living challenging and limiting independence. Robotic rehabilitation is a relatively new innovation that can increase the amount of work per therapy session as compared to manual therapy. The highly repetitive, high dose and reproducible movements from robotic devices promotes motor learning and an increase in muscle strength that over the course of a few weeks can increase and forearm muscle strength.
Study Description: We are studying the effects of robotic rehabilitation on hand and wrist strength and task performance. Participants will visit Brock University (St. Catharines, ON) to participate in the study. The study will involve using a robotic device (the only one in Canada) to deliver rehabilitation sessions 3 times per week for 6 weeks with sessions approximately 48 hours apart. During the first visit, participants will perform tasks that test the strength, functionality, proprioception (knowing where your hand/arm is in space) and coordination of the hand and wrist. During each training session, participants will trace a figure on a computer screen using a robotic device. These visits will take approximately 35 minutes. The robotic device will adapt on an individualized bases to deliver the most effective training session.

The purpose of this study is to use a robotic apparatus to implement an adaptive, patient tailored 6-week training program for the forearm and wrist in persons with multiple sclerosis. The aim of this work is to increase wrist and grip strength, increase muscle activation, reduce spasticity and increase coordination of muscles and joints to ultimately improve overall hand functionality.
Who can participate: Participants must be between the ages of 18-65 years, with any level or progression of multiple sclerosis.
Starting Date: 2020-02-01
Ending Date: 2020-05-31
Location of Trial: Brock University
Contact Information: Kailynn Mannella
Phone: 905-380-8362
Trial Funding: Canada Research Chairs Program