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Exercise Retrains Brain And Body Of Stroke Victims

Stroke victims are getting treadmill training to increase their recovery and ability to walk better. Depending on the stroke patient's ability and recovery stage, appropriate advanced rehabilitation therapy combined with conventional rehabilitation therapy consisting of sensorimotor exercises can provide multiple types of sensory input to assist in recovery after stroke ( 8 ). As Smania et al. described ( 16 ), with a specific training program based on weight transfer and balance exercise performed under different conditions of manipulation of sensory inputs, chronic stroke patients achieved significant improvement in their ability to maintain balance control.
Very few studies have examined the safety and efficacy of passive cycle ergometer exercise in stroke patients (Table 2). This is interesting since personal observation of hand exercises after stroke a rehabilitation unit in a local, community hospital has indicated use of the motorized cycle ergometer regularly as part of rehabilitation therapy in stroke patients.

Due to the limited research that has been conducted on passive exercise training in stroke patients it is useful to first examine the physiological responses that occur in normal individuals and possibly extrapolate these findings to stroke patients.
Once the patient is medically stable following their stroke, a variety of rehabilitation techniques are available to help the stroke survivor attain their optimal physical, emotional and social well-being 12. The general goals of rehabilitation for the hemiplegic stroke patient are to maintain and improve current function, delay the progression of disease and reduce the risk of another stroke occurring 13. Commonly, treatment is directed towards adapting function of the non-paretic side to compensate for the loss of function on the paretic side 14, however, little emphasis is placed upon simply promoting movement.

It is not possible to conclusively define which gait training protocol is the best for chronic stroke persons, because the various studies reported here did not evaluate the similar outcomes: in most of the studies, participants walked on a treadmill; virtual reality, EMG biofeedback or weight support were successfully applied.
Indeed, being an independent ambulator was one of the subject selection criteria for many of the studies 25 , 32 , 33 , 34 , 35 , 36 , 40 , 42 , 45 , 48 , 50 , 51 , 52 , 54 Further improvement in walking speed after exercise training may be more apparent when the participants are asked to perform a more demanding walking task.
30 Other factors that influence level of activity limitation include intrinsic motivation and mood, adaptability and coping skill, cognition and learning ability, severity and type of preexisting and acquired medical comorbidity, medical stability, physical endurance levels, effects of acute treatments, and the amount and type of rehabilitation training.

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