Stroke is a leading cause of long-term disability, affecting more than 795,000 people annually in the United States. Individuals who survive a stroke often experience a range of sensory and motor impairments that negatively affects their function and health-related quality-of-life. Current evidence indicates that repetitive, goal-oriented training is critical for the recovery of lost functions after stroke. Several large scale clinical trials have demonstrated improvements over usual/standard care in different types of therapy – e.g., constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and robotic training; however, the improvements have been suboptimal and these methods have not translated to typical clinics in the United States because of the minimal benefit-to-cost return.
One common element contributing to successful rehabilitation outcomes across these different types of therapy is the high dosage – i.e. improvements are greatest when participants perform the therapy for a large number of hours/practice repetitions. However, the maximum feasible number of hours in the clinic can rarely exceed a couple of hours a day. Hence, therapy has to be also administered outside the clinic to improve the dosage and maximize rehabilitation outcomes. This can only be feasible if the technology is affordable to the patient. Thus, there is a critical need for new innovative therapies that are not only well-founded through evidence from laboratory or preclinical studies but are also low-cost to enhance the adoption of these treatment strategies in the community.
The goal of this project is to develop a low-cost, virtual rehabilitation technology for stroke rehabilitation. The technology involves taking the movements of the unaffected limb and projecting it on their affected side so that the stroke survivor receives an illusion that their affected arm/leg is moving similar to their unaffected arm/leg. This kind of “mirror therapy” has a strong basic science foundation and is considered to be effective in improving motor outcomes after stroke. We will particularly work on technologies that would allow portability, affordability, and wearability. After the development of the technology, we will test the clinical translation of the proposed technology into the UM Stroke Rehabilitation Program. Successful completion of this project will serve as a foundation for a large scale clinical study to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of our technology in individuals with stroke.
Please Note This Project Is Now Closed.
The Michigan Institute for Clinical & Health Research (MICHR) seeks innovative translational research projects that will ultimately have significant potential to improve patient and community health outcomes. The goal of this funding is to support interdisciplinary research teams in generating sufficient preliminary data to pursue future extramural funding and publication opportunities. We welcome research proposed at any stage of translation, including:
- preclinical research that aims to connect the basic science of disease with human medicine
- clinical research to better understand a disease in humans
- clinical implementation, involving the adoption of interventions demonstrated useful in the research environment into routine clinical care, and
- the study of health outcomes at the population level to determine the effects of diseases and efforts to prevent, diagnose and treat them
MICHR will fund up to five Classic Cubes ($60K) and 13 Mini Cubes ($15K).
No unit or faculty contribution is required.
Project Submission Process
Interested faculty members please provide the following information to be considered for funding:
Click the Comments tab above, and post a project idea in the Mcubed website. Please do not exceed two paragraphs in length. Provide basic details about the proposed research.
Comment should also include:
- Three cube collaborators - faculty names and units. The team must include 3 faculty from at least 2 units, and 1 faculty member on each team must be from Medicine.
- Grant amount requested ($15K or $60K)
- Studies proposing cell or animal models should provide reasoning of how the research will lead to immediate next step studies in humans.
Comments will be accepted until May 15, 2019.
Note: Project duration is one year from the transfer of funds.
For additional questions about this funding opportunity, please contact Beth LaPensee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For eligibility requirements, use of funds, and details on the application process, please see: