Objective: To investigate the ability of the New Jersey Institute of Technology Robot Assisted Virtual Rehabilitation (NJIT-RAVR) system training to elicit changes in upper extremity (UE) function in children with hemiplegia secondary to cerebral palsy. Methods: Nine children (mean age 9 years, three males) participated in three pilots. Subjects trained 1 hour, 3 days a week for 3 weeks. Two groups performed this protocol as their only intervention. The third group also performed 56 hours of constraint-induced movement therapy. Results: All subjects participated in a short programme of nine, 60-minute training sessions without adverse effects. As a group, subjects demonstrated statistically significant improvements in Melbourne Assessment of Unilateral Upper Limb Function Test, a composite of three timed UE tasks and several measurements of reaching kinematics. Several subjects demonstrated clinically significant improvements in active shoulder abduction and flexion as well as forearm supination. Conclusion: Three small pilots of NJIT-RAVR training demonstrated measurable benefit with no complications, warranting further examination.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Cerebral palsy
- upper extremity
- virtual reality