A novel approach to automate measurement and training of hand and wrist motor functions
Grasse, Katelyn Millay
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Millions of people around the world suffer chronic upper extremity disability. Reliable measurement of arm function is critical for development of therapies to improve recovery after impairment. In this study, we report a suite of automated rehabilitative tools to allow simple, quantitative assessment of hand and wrist motor functions. We measured range of motion and force production using these devices in cSCI participants with a range of upper limb disability and in neurologically intact participants at two time points separated by approximately four months. Additionally, we determined whether measures collected with the rehabilitative tools correlated with standard upper limb assessments, including the Graded Redefined Assessment of Strength, Sensibility, and Prehension (GRASSP) and the Jebsen Hand Function Test (JHFT). We find that the rehabilitative devices provide sensitive, accurate assessment of upper limb function in physical units over time in SCI participants and are well-correlated with standard assessments. These results indicate that these tools represent a reliable system for longitudinal evaluation of upper extremity function after cSCI and may provide a framework to assess the efficacy of strategies aimed at improving recovery of upper limb function. Finally, we demonstrate the feasibility of using the system with video games to deliver automated repetitive motor therapy.