Tag Archives: stroke

Robotic arm to help stroke patients regain movement

A robotic arm is the key to a radical new stroke treatment, helping patients regain upper body movement.

Melbourne researchers have developed a device that helps stroke patients learn to use their bodies again by tracking their movements while performing exercises. The arm movements can be displayed on a computer screen, and the activities turned into a game.

“The patients enjoy using the robot because it’s like playing computer games,” says Associate Professors Denny Oetomo, who is working with Ying Tan, and a team at The University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital.

“It also improves the ratio of patients to clinician time as the clinicians can handle multiple patients at one time.” Continue reading Robotic arm to help stroke patients regain movement

Fighting stroke damage

A drug based on a molecule naturally present in infants – but which declines in adulthood – can halve the scarring in brains of those who have suffered stroke. And it can be delivered up to a week afterward.

The drug developed by James and Leon minimises the amount of scarring after the wound has been stabilised. Credit: Leon Teo
Enlarged cell bodies (pink), with increased scar-forming (green) following stroke. Credit: Leon Teo

“We hope our work will improve the recovery of the elderly, as well as people in rural and remote communities, who haven’t had access to speedy treatment following a stroke,” says Associate Professor James Bourne at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI ), and Chief Investigator of the research.
Continue reading Fighting stroke damage

Clues to switching off your blood clots

Our blood has a built-in system for breaking up heart attack-inducing clots—and we’re a step closer to drugs that could switch that system on at will.

The molecular structure of plasminogen Credit: Prof James Whisstock/Australian Synchrotron
The molecular structure of plasminogen. Credit: Prof James Whisstock/Australian Synchrotron

Australian researchers have won the decades-long race to define the structure of plasminogen—a protein whose active form quickly dissolves blood clots.

The current crop of clot-busting drugs have many side effects, including bleeding and thinning of the blood, so harnessing the body’s own mechanism for clearing clots could offer a better way. Continue reading Clues to switching off your blood clots