This study assesses telerehabilitation in people with chronic stroke using a combination of
noninvasive brain stimulation and finger tracking training. Telerehabilitation allows
patients to train in their own home which also allows for longer training periods than what
is currently allowed clinically. Noninvasive transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS)
uses two surface electrodes connected to a small battery that will be attached to the head.
This will be used to modulate neuronal excitability. With sensors attached to fingers and the
wrist, the patient will move the joints to track a target displayed on a screen. The combined
treatment will be applied in two experiments. The first will be on 3 patients coming to our
lab and the second on 3 patients in their home, both under supervision. We will integrate the
two components and test the resulting and novel treatment system for technical feasibility
and safety, which will set the stage for future efficacy studies under federal grant support.
We hypothesize that the developed system will be safe and feasible.
This study will assess the safety and feasibility of a telerehabilitation protocol involving
non-invasive brain stimulation. Therefore, the two arms of the study are 1) implementation of
this protocol in a controlled laboratory setting and 2) implementation of this protocol in a
patient's home, being set up by the patient but controlled remotely using a blue-tooth system
by an investigator in a different location. The two arms of this study will occur
successively with the first arm being completed with three patients followed by the second
arm being completed with a second group of three patients.
- adult at least 18 years old
- stroke duration >6 months,
- Mini-Mental State Examination score 24 or higher
- presence of tactile sensation on the scalp
- at least 10 degrees of active finger or wrist motion in the stroke hand
- ability to walk 100 feet and transfer independently
- seizure within past two years
- metal inside the had (dental metal is permitted)
- implanted medical devices incompatible with tDCS
James Carey, PhD, PT
University of Minnesota - Clinical and Translational Science Institute