Stroke Rehabilitation and Robotics Research

Nearly 700,000 strokes occur in the United States each year, leaving thousands of people with lasting movement problems. Even with rehabilitation therapy, half of stroke survivors will continue to have weakness on one side of their body. However, research is pointing to promising new ways for people to regain at least some of their function.

In this interview, Dr. George Wittenberg, a neurologist at the University of Maryland Medical Center, discusses the latest research in stroke rehabilitation, including the use of robotics, which assist people to perform movements correctly, much like power steering in a car makes it easier to turn the car around.

Researchers are studying whether moving arms or legs correctly, in a repetitive way, will help stroke survivors to regain function and move better. They are also looking at brain images to see if the repetitive movements cause changes in the brain.

In this interview with Sharon Boston, Dr. Wittenberg also discusses other devices such as braces and stimulators that may benefit stroke patients. Dr. Wittenberg is also an assistant professor of neurology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and a staff physician at the Baltimore VA Medical Center.