How many people have strokes annually?
Each year in the U.S. over 400,000 people survive a stroke. Of these approximately 80% of acute stroke survivors lose arm and hand movement skills. Movement impairments are typically treated with intensive, hands-on physical and occupational therapy for several weeks after the initial brain injury. Unfortunately, due to economic pressures on the U.S. health care system, stroke patients are receiving less therapy and going home sooner. The ensuing home rehabilitation is often self-directed with little professional or quantitative feedback. Even as formal therapy declines, a growing body of evidence suggests that both acute and chronic stroke survivors can improve movement ability with intensive, supervised training. This evidence comes in part from studies of “constraint-induced therapy” and “robot-assisted therapy”. Although constraint-induced and robot-assisted therapy are dissimilar in many aspects, they share a common principle: they both rely on intensive, repetitive practice of fu