Skip to Main Content

MusicGlove Therapy Helps Stroke and MS Patients Regain Hand Function - Archived



For More Information:
David McArthur, Senior Manager, Media Relations
502.562.7016 or 502.648.3411
[email protected]

MusicGlove Therapy Helps Stroke and MS Patients Regain Hand Function
KentuckyOne Health Multiple Sclerosis Care in Lexington 
is first in Kentucky to employ technology

Lexington, Ky. (April 16, 2015)—Patients receiving treatment from KentuckyOne Health Neurology Associates and Multiple Sclerosis Care in Lexington now have a new, engaging way to work on repairing the fine motor functions in their hands following a stroke or other disability. MusicGlove, an FDA approved rehabilitation device that improves hand function through a music-based game.

Occupational therapists from Saint Joseph Hospital Rehabilitation at the Beaumont Centre Family YMCA are the first in Kentucky to use this new technology.

Funding for the MusicGlove technology was provided by a grant from the Unruh Charitable Foundation Inc. operated by Victor and Jeannie Unruh in New Albany, Ind. Services for multiple sclerosis patients are a key focus of the foundation’s charitable giving.

The new device, designed for integration into existing clinical rehab programs, allows users to play a game by making specific hand movements along with scrolling notes on a screen. The notes are timed to the beat of several fun and upbeat songs. The game helps patients practice the pincer grasp and key pinch grip, which are vital to regaining the ability to use the hand for most activities of daily living.

The interactive nature of the game allows users to complete hundreds of repetitions in a 15-minute session without feeling like they are doing intensive therapy. This type of engaging activity is critical for promoting the neural reorganization required for long-term improvements after a stroke or other neurological injury.

“We know it can be hard to keep patients motivated and engaged in their recovery process,” said Nancy Heckler, nurse navigator for KentuckyOne Health Neurology Associates. “Fun, activity-based rehab improves morale while helping patients see meaningful results.”

Timed sessions can be selected to partially automate the therapy, and patients receive immediate feedback on their performance after each song is completed. The software also includes an analytics suite, allowing therapists and patients to track the amount of use and improvements over time.

“MusicGlove is fun and game-like. Everybody enjoys having a meaningful task and that’s what it provides during therapy,” said Violet Sellers, an occupational therapist with Saint Joseph Hospital Rehabilitation. “The technology also keeps the patient focused and engaged because it is a continuous task. The analytics portion of the program allows patients to see their progress each week and helps them to see how therapy is improving their fine motor function."

MusicGlove is designed for those with mild to moderate impairment of the hand as a result of a stroke, multiple sclerosis or other disability. It can be adjusted for varying levels of mobility by changing grips, song selection and other variables.

Saint Joseph Hospital Rehabilitation plans to incorporate MusicGlove into physical and speech therapies soon.

About KentuckyOne Health
KentuckyOne Health, the largest and most comprehensive health system in the Commonwealth, has more than 200 locations including, hospitals, physician groups, clinics, primary care centers, specialty institutes and home health agencies in Kentucky and southern Indiana. KentuckyOne Health is dedicated to bringing wellness, healing and hope to all, including the underserved.  The system is made up of the former Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare and Saint Joseph Health System, along with the University of Louisville Hospital and James Graham Brown Cancer Center. KentuckyOne Health is proud of and strengthened by its Catholic, Jewish and academic heritages.

Publish date: 

Thursday, April 16, 2015