HEMIPLEGIA is the paralysis of one side of the body (either the full left or right side). It is usually due to brain disorder/damage/infection, spinal cord injury or stroke. Associated impairments may include an array of possible impairments such as:
- inability to walk or speak
- epilepsy / seizures
- vastly reduced fine motor skills
- bladder control
- behavioral issues
- breathing disorders
- memory & intellectual impairments
Patients with Hemiplegia are often observed to have muscle weakness/stiffness and performance control and the intensity of symptoms are often aligned with the extent of the injury. Hemiplegia is one of several types of CEREBRAL PALSY. There is also MONOPLEGIA- affecting one arm, DIPLEGIA- impairing either both arms or both legs, and QUADRIPLEGIA affecting all four limbs.
Therapeutic Innovation for Arm Paralysis
Interview by: Phil Muccio, CEO/AxioBionics
A recent patient (Kyle) was being treated for left sided hemiplegia. This entails trying to work with an arm that has been paralyzed by some event. The patient was experiencing unrelenting seizures that necessitated a procedure called a hemispherectomy. This surgical procedure will result in the paralysis of the opposite side of the body. He does a trade-off of course, because you can't live your life with unrelenting seizures. Through this process, if the motor cortex is involved, it's going to leave the opposite side of your body paralyzed. But in Kyle's case, he has some brain control so we wanted to help improve his functionality. (click image to see VIDEO)
Instead of putting his arm in a sling, you want to do the exact opposite to encourage muscle activity and the connection between the brain and the muscles. The patient needs to condition this arm in a manner that he isn't able to do so, but in addition to this, you want to diminish the known problems of paralysis, which are muscle spasms, joint, stiffness, contractures. In a sling, the hand may clench and the elbow may flex- but it kind of leaves you with a clipped wing in a sense-- it's very difficult to use an arm like that. Through NEUROPROSTHETICS, we found a way to put muscle activity back into a paralyzed arm by placing our electric stimulation sleeves on his arm- enabling the patient to access muscle therapy daily, and that arm is active the entire time. It is making the muscles move contract and otherwise be very active, and in that process, we're helping to increase the connection between the brain and the muscle that's called MUSCLE RE-EDUCATION. And if you can lower the muscle spasms that tend to restrict movement, then that patient's arm will be easier to move.
If you're locked up by muscle tightness, even small amounts of brain control will be rendered because you can't move against the restrictions of muscle spasms. It's important for us to alleviate those spasms to allow the brain to start using the muscles more effectively.
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...FROM A STROKE
Medical associations reports Hemiplegia to largely originate from infancy (strokes in the womb). Adults affected by a stroke event may contract Hemiplegia, but are more commonly affected by HEMIPARESIS, the weakening or inability to move one side of the body (or limbs). Common treatments of hemiparesis includes
- Modified constraint-induced therapy (mCIT)
- Cortical Stimulation: a surgical implant in the brain
- Electric Stimulation: non-invasive neurotherapeutic induction
- Daily Exercises supervised by a physical therapist can add strength to impaired muscles leading to recovery and expanded range of motion
- Assistive/mobility Support devices: including canes, Braces, and wheelchairs - adding increased strength, control and movement.
...FROM TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is an injury that affects how the brain works and may result in paralysis of either side of the body. Injury in the neurotransmitters of the brain or the spinal cord affects control of motor functions. TBIs affect the lives of people of all ages- ranging in severity from mild (concussion), moderate or severe TBI. Anyone can experience a TBI, but data suggest that some groups are at greater risk of dying from a TBI or experiencing long-term health problems after the injury. TBI is a major cause of death and disability in the US with a recorded 61,000 TBI-related deaths in 2019 (est 166 TBI-related deaths every day)
Anyone can experience a TBI, but data suggest that some groups are at greater risk for getting a TBI or having worse health outcomes after the injury. It may be caused by a:
- Bump, blow, or jolt to the head
- Penetrating injury (such as from a gunshot) to the head
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