Mental practice and transtibial amputee gait training
Mental practice (MP) may improve gait rehabilitation for persons with lower limb amputation if it is included as a part of the training program. The size and longevity of the mental affect may be related to the specific tasks trained, in this case, improvement in gait was only seen in the group where MP was related to walking.
In walking, the cerebral cortex is responsible for sending signals to create the necessary movement. Amputation results in altered body mechanics and may result in a change of use of the body (for example shorter periods of standing). The mapping of the brain is affected by amputation but can be influenced somewhat by cognitive strategies such as mental practice (MP). MP can aid in learning a movement, even without the physical training.
One group trained non-walking related MP and another trained specifically to walking. For the walking task group, improvement was seen in control of deceleration, ability to push off and improved balance and control of the prosthetic limb. These improvements were maintained after the intervention was removed.
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> From: Cunha , J Neuroeng Rehabil 14 (2017-11-30 08:11:53) 28. All rights reserved to The Author(s). Click here for the online summary.