Improvements in limb kinetic apraxia by repetition of a newly designed facilitation exercise in a patient with corticobasal degeneration

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Corticobasal degeneration is a progressive neurological disorder characterized by a combination of parkinsonism and cortical dysfunction such as limb kinetic apraxia, alien limb phenomenon, and dementia. To study the effect of repetitive facilitation exercise (RFE) in a patient with corticobasal degeneration, we used a newly designed facilitation exercise designed to elicit movements isolated from the synergy in hemiplegia. This exercise included movements of each isolated finger using stretch reflex and skin-muscle reflex and repetitive movements demanded in activities of daily living (ADL) and manipulating objects. To evaluate improvements in hand functions by RFE, 1-week RFE sessions for the hand were administered alternatively to the left or right hand. The number of finger taps by the hand increased during each 1-week RFE session for the hand, but did not increase during 1-week sessions without RFE. After 1 month of treatment, the patient's difficulties in ADL, including wearing clothes, manipulating objects and cooking, decreased. Our results suggest the importance of the repetition of facilitation exercises and movements in ADL for recovery in patients with degenerative neurogenic diseases.

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