Over 60,000 Australians suffer a stroke every year, making it the second most common cause of disability in Australia. More than half of those who survive a stroke require help with normal daily activities.
There is no cure for stroke, nor any forthcoming. Rehabilitation is the only method to recover movement of stroke-affected limbs.
Our research focuses on the recovery of movement after stroke. We are currently setting up a project to test the delivery of rehabilitation therapy via high speed broadband to people in regional and remote parts of Australia. We are also making detailed assessments of stroke patients before and after rehabilitation that will allow us to predict which patients will benefit most from therapy.
This basic science project aims to examine the behaviour of human motoneurones during sustained activation to reveal their mechanisms of recovery after activation. We will take the fundamental findings from this study and compare the behaviour of motoneurones innervating muscles affected by neurological injury such as spinal cord injury and stroke.
Successful rehabilitation after stroke is limited by many factors including trained personnel, equipment, time and money.
Every year more than 60,000 Australians suffer a stroke and this number will only increase with the aging population the growing epidemics of obesity, physical inactivity and diabetes.
Measuring how well people can drive their muscle to produce maximum forces tells us a lot about the voluntary control of movement. We know that muscle strength decreases as people get older, particularly after the age of 70. Despite the loss of strength, the ability to drive muscles in maximum efforts does not deteriorate with age.
Very little is known about the way in which the body controls voluntary movement changes after stroke, or which neurophysiological structures cause such changes.
Skin sensation, or the ability to detect contact on the skin, declines with age. Manual dexterity and fine motor control of the hand also decline with age.
We have developed a testing technique that enables us to identify various distortions of somatotopic representation after stroke that are not detected by routine clinical testing and remain unknown to patients themselves. This indicates the need to raise awareness about this pathological condition and identify patients who would potentially benefit from sensory rehabilitation. We suggest that new rehabilitation strategies need to be developed specifically for such patients.
On this, the United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, Prof Tony Broe and Dr Kylie Radford talk about their research into dementia prevalence in Australia’s indigenous population. One of our recent studies has shown that dementia prevalence in Indigenous Australians, aged over 60, is three times higher than the overall Australian population. What is it that helps […]