Friday, March 18, 2011

Mirror Therapy and Children with Hemiplegia

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology published research on mirror therapy in children with hemiplegia. Mirror therapy involves the use of a mirror to provide the illusion that the paretic arm is functional. This type of therapy has been used with adults who have had a stroke. For this pilot study, 15 children with hemiplegia were randomly assigned to complete 15 minutes of bimanual training for 3 weeks of therapy with and without the mirror. Training with the mirror significantly improved grasp strength and upper limb dynamic position. Training without the mirror significantly improved pincher strength.

I had never heard of mirror therapy prior to this research study. Seems like an interesting idea with minimal equipment involved. Has anyone had experience, good or bad, with mirror therapy and children with hemiplegia?

Reference: GYGAX, M. J., SCHNEIDER, P. and NEWMAN, C. J. , Mirror therapy in children with hemiplegia: a pilot study. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, no. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2011.03924.x

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