Rüdiger J. Seitz, Alexander Kammerzell, Melina Samartzi, Sebastian Jander, Lars Wojtecki, Paul F.M.J. Verschure and David Ram
Background: Visuomotor performance can be improved by repetitive training on consecutive days. The aim of this study was to assess the training effect of visuomotor tracking in healthy subjects and hemiparetic patients with stroke and in moderately impaired patients with Parkinson’s disease.
Methods: 39 healthy right-handed subjects, 15 patients after acute cerebral artery stroke, and 15 patients with mid-stage Parkinson’s disease were trained with the commercially available, multifunctional PABLOR-device. This handhold device is equipped with force and acceleration sensors and connected to a personal computer for on-line data display and data storage. On three consecutive days the subjects were trained to navigate a target through obstacles in a virtual reality environment. Performance was assessed by modulation of force production and rotation of the hand in a visuomotor tracking paradigm using the PABLOR-device.
Results: The main findings were that training of the right dominant hand improved visuomotor coordination of hand rotation movements in both hands in the healthy subjects (p=0.0015). Training of the right affected hand improved visuomotor coordination of hand rotation movements in either patient group (p=0.026). In contrast, training improved the visuomotor coordination of force tracking of the dominant hand only in the healthy subjects (p<0.01).
Conclusions: The visuomotor training scenario was effective to improve visually guided hand coordination within three days in the healthy controls and both patient groups. The improvement of hand rotation generalized to the nontrained hand in healthy subjects.PDF
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