Vibrotactile stimulation in rehabilitation of early brain injury

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      Anonymous
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      Afferent signals from the muscle’s proprioceptors play important role in the control of muscle tone and in the facilitation of movements. Peripheral afferent pathway enables the restoration of connections with supraspinal structures and so includes mechanism of synaptic inhibition in the performance of normal movement. Different sensory stimuli, as vibrotactile stimulation, excite muscle’s proprioceptors which then send sensorimotor information via spinal cord. In this way afferent signals promote cortical control and modulation of movements.

      The goal of this study is to evaluate the effects of vibrotactile stimulation on the spasticity and motor performance in children with cerebral injury. Subjects included in

      this study were 13 children who were developing the classification of spastic cerebral palsy. For all children perinatal brain damage was documented by medical reports and neonatal brain ultrasound scan.

      At the mean age of 3 years and 6 months subject underwent the assessment of motor development by Gross Motor Function Measurement (GMFM-88). Gross Motor Classification System (GMFCS) has been used to classify functions of lower extremities.

      Therapeutic intervention was conducted once a week during 3 months. All subjects were stimulated with vibrotactile stimuli of 40Hz in duration of 20 minutes in order to reduce spasticity. After the ending of the treatment subjects underwent second assessment of motor performance and the classification of lower extremities functions. The results have shown that there was a significant improvement in motor performance, what has been seen in the facilitation of rotations, better postural trunk stability and head control and in greater selectivity of movements.

      Further randomized, control trial investigations with bigger sample and included spasm scale are needed to gain better insight in the role of vibrotactile stimulation in the facilitation of normal movements.

      This abstract presents pilot project for further research in this field.

      You can find full text in Collegium Antropologicum 35 (2011) Suppl 1.: 57-63

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