Developing new measures of movement ability to improve personalisation of therapy for stroke survivors

Key Contact: Professor Valerie Pomeroy

Research Study team: Valerie Pomeroy, Canan Yuksel, Merve Kizilay, Elizabeth Chandler, Allan Clark, Nicola Hancock, Louise Gilbert, David Payne, Alpar Lazar

Physical therapy is beneficial for improvement in the ability to move and function in everyday environments after stroke.  The evidence base is strong.  Despite these benefits, many people remain disappointed by their ability to move at six months and onwards after stroke and have requested better methods of rehabilitation.  Increased benefit from physical therapy is promised from a stronger emphasis on driving neuroplasticity in the brain to produce motor recovery (use of pre-stroke movement patterns) rather than behavioural compensation (use of alternative movement patterns) .   

Driving brain neuroplasticity to produce motor recovery requires use of measures of movement patterns in both research and clinical practice.  The measures of movement patterns, neuro-mechanics, are derived from motion analysis of body segments and analysis of muscle activity using surface electromyography (EMG).  For relevance to stroke survivors’ everyday lives these neuro-mechanical measures are made during the performance of standardised everyday functional tasks such as reach-to-grasp and sit-to-walk.   Interpretation of these neuro-mechanical measures needs to be undertaken with reference to normative values obtained from a sufficient number of adults who do not have a neurological or other pathology that impacts their movement ability (healthy adults).  This project will produce the required normative values in the UEA MoveExLab using the gold-standard data capture systems: Delsys surface-EMG, Brain Products EEG system and Vicon motion analysis.       

We are recruiting adults who do not have any neurological or musculoskeletal conditions. If you would like to volunteer to take part in this study, please contact Professor Valerie Pomeroy, or Pel Fordham, Research Administrator,