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What is constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) for stroke rehab?

One promising technique for people with moderate weakness in one arm following a stroke is constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT), which involves not just exercising the weak arm but also restraining the stronger arm to force the other one to work harder. Research suggests that CIMT may help the brain rewire itself, and help people to gain more mobility and dexterity. A multicenter study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health followed patients who underwent either a two-week CIMT program or usual care. The results, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that CIMT participants enjoyed significantly greater improvements in arm motor function one year after the intervention. After two years, CIMT participants retained those functional improvements and continued to gain strength in their affected arm. This translated into continuing improvements in activities of daily living.

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