30-10-2018. 60% of all stroke patients suffer from walking disorders. This leads to restrictions on participation, for example loss of work or leisure activities. Treatment of the consequences of Stroke the focus is on restoring sensorimotor functions, in particular walking ability, and social participation.
Treatment guidelines recommend treadmill training (e.g. DGN 2018). For this therapy, there is evidence of improvements in walking speed and walking duration (Mehrholz et al. 2017). Also for them Rhythmic-auditory stimulation (RAS), ground-level gait training with acoustic stimulation has comparable evidence for stroke patients (Yoo et al. 2016).
A new study from a neuro-rehab clinic in Beelitz-Heilstätten in Brandenburg now provides first indications that treadmill therapy can be made more effective with music. The effects of a 4-week music-based treadmill training on the gait rehabilitation of stroke patients were examined (Mainka et al. 2018).
For the combination therapy RAS with treadmill training was special Training music developed. This was adjusted to the patient's individual treadmill cadence and systematically increased in coordination with the belt speed. In the clinical study with 45 patients after a stroke, the participants trained 5 times a week for up to 20 minutes with and without music on the treadmill. The researchers found that music increases the effects of therapy.
For the first time, the study provides indications of a clinical superiority of RAS treadmill therapy over standard therapies. The further development and research of this innovative therapeutic approach can contribute to improved gait rehabilitation of patients after a stroke in the future.
MEHRHOLZ, J., POHL, M. & ELSNER, B. (2017). Treadmill training and body weight support for walking after stroke. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, CD002840
DGN, GERMAN SOCIETY FOR NEUROLOGY (2018). Treatment guidelines Rehabilitation of sensorimotor disorders. Retrieved: 2018-08-28 from www.awmf.de
YOO, G. & Kim, S. (2016). Rhythmic Auditory Cueing in Motor Rehabilitation for Stroke Patients: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Mus Ther. 53 (2). Pp. 149-77
MAINKA, S., WISSEL, J., VÖLLER, H. EVERS, S. (2018). The use of rhythmic auditory stimulation to optimize treadmill training for stroke patients: a randomized controlled trial. Front neurol, https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00755