Objective: For the recovery of hemiparetic hand function, a therapy was developed called contralateral homonymous muscle activity stimulated electrical stimulation (CHASE), which combines electrical stimulation and bilateral movements, and its feasibility was studued in three chronic stroke patients with severe hand hemiparesis. Methods: Patients with a subcortical lesion were asked to extend their wrist and fingers bilaterally while an electromyogram (EMG) was recorded from the extensor carpi radialis (ECR) muscle in the unaffected hand. Electric stimulation was applied to the homonymous wrist and finger extensors of the affected side. The intensity of the electrical stimulation was computed based on the EMG and scaled so that the movements of the paretic hand looked similar to those of the unaffected side. The patients received 30-minutes of therapy per day for 2 weeks. Results: Improvement in the active range of motion of wrist extension was observed for all patients. There was a decrease in the scores of modified Ashworth scale in the flexors. Fugl-Meyer assessment scores of motor function of the upper extremities improved in two of the patients. Conclusions: The results suggest a positive outcome can be obtained using the CHASE system for upper extremity rehabilitation of patients with severe hemiplegia.
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