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Role of semantic control of action in the comprehensive rehabilitation of patients recovering from prolonged post-traumatic coma

Maria PÄ…chalska, Jan Talar, Bruce Duncan MacQueen

Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(8): CR576-586

ID: 13601

Background: Apraxia, broadly understood as the acquired inability to perform learned, skilled movements not caused by paresis or incomprehension, occurs with greater frequency among patients
recovering from prolonged post-traumatic coma than has previously been reported. The present article prevents an evaluation of the effectiveness of a rehabilitation program called Semantic Priming, aimed at rebuilding praxis in these patients.
Material/Methods: Out of a consecutive series of 51 patients with post-traumatic coma lasting longer than 4 weeks treated at the centers represented by the authors, 24 were found to have pathological
scores on the Boston Test of Praxis. These patients were divided into two matched groups, of whom the experimental group received the Semantic Priming program (involving the systematic use of verbal cues to prime movement activation patterns), and the control group did not. Progress was measured by the Boston Test of Praxis and a test developed by the authors on the basis of Luria’s procedure for testing praxis.
Results: After 5 weeks of therapy the patients in the experimental group showed significantly greater improvement in all measured parameters (p

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