Monika Ehrensberger

Mirror therapy and unilateral strength training for enhancing motor function after stroke: A pilot randomised controlled trial​ 

Supervisor: Dr. Kenneth Monaghan

Funding Body: President’s Bursary Awards IT Sligo

Abstract: 

Introduction:

Both mirror therapy (Thieme et. al. 2012) and cross-education of strength (Dragert & Zehr 2013) have successfully promoted functional recovery post stroke. A recent systematic review by Zult et. al. (2014) shows evidence for the effectiveness of mirror therapy to enhance cross-education of strength for patients after stroke. Recommendations from this review, propose that a combination of unilateral strength training with mirror training can further accelerate functional recovery post stroke.

Hypothesis:

In this study, we hypothesized that congruent visual feedback and motor imagery from the moving non-paretic upper extremity during unilateral strengthening, as provided by a mirror, would help restore the integrity of cortical processing and thereby restore function in the affected upper extremity during functional movement.

Objectives of the study:

Evaluate the effects of mirror therapy combined with cross education strength on lower-extremity motor recovery and functioning in patients with sub-acute stroke.

  1. Explore how this new combination therapy compares to both placebo and control conditions.
  2. Identify any adverse effects of the new combination therapy.

Design: Randomized, assessor-blinded, 6-week trial, with follow-up at 3 months.

2018/19 Fulltime Prospectus IT Sligo

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