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Hand Motor Control in Stroke Victims to be Studied by Collaborative Team

Nov. 15, 2012

A collaborative team of researchers from Marquette University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) received a one-year, $50,000 grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin (CTSI) to study the mechanisms behind hand motor control and sensory feedback in stroke patients.

The project, titled “Role of Sensory Enhancement on Hand Motor Control and Functional Recovery after Stroke: an fMRI Study,” will be led by primary investigator, Na Jin Seo, Ph.D., assistant professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and co-primary investigators, Wendy Huddleston, Ph.D., P.T., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Michelle Johnson, Ph.D., MCW and the Clement Zablocki VA Medical Center; and Brian Schmit, Ph.D., Marquette University.

Stroke survivors have difficulty with grip, which diminishes their ability to perform activities of daily living. Grip control between fingers and thumbs relies heavily on sensory feedback, which can be impaired after a stroke. Often, patients are unaware of the force exerted due to sensory deficits. In this study, researchers aim to learn more about the optimizing sensory feedback, with a long-term goal of optimizing stroke rehabilitation.

This is one of 19 pilot projects being funded in 2012 through CTSI. The goal is to create synergy through collaboration, and studies are specifically designed to lead to major future research support. The projects explore findings that have the potential to be translated into clinical practice and community health, and are led by investigators at the CTSI’s eight partnering institutions: the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the VA Medical Center, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.

CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Support for the Pilot Award Program comes from the National Institutes of Health, the John and Jeanne Byrnes CTSI Award, and both MCW’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin program, and MCW’s Biotechnology and Bioengineering Center.

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