Your Stroke / Brain Injury Recovery Starts Here

ARNI home-based training and guidance for your rehab is POWERFUL. Accept no substitute.


P1030646 770x330 - Get Task Training Board: Do Upper Limb Rehabilitation After Stroke! - Stroke Exercise Training

All therapists know what a challenge it is to try and help patients gain further action control of the more-affected upper limb. For ultra-effective upper limb training, get your task-specific training board shown here in conjunction with stretching before and after each grasp and release sequence.

red 1 ARNI task board 300x200 - Get Task Training Board: Do Upper Limb Rehabilitation After Stroke! - Stroke Exercise TrainingIf you or your loved one has upper limb limitations, this can be an excellent way to ‘increase the dosage’ of repetitions.

As Professor Nick Ward at the Institute of Neurology points out continually, in his and his team’s efforts to get stroke survivors to do more to engage the upper limb, ramping up the amount of grasp and release efforts performed daily may be most likely to increase neuroplasticity and accelerate recovery.

At last, available to you is the Upper Limb Task-Training board, as described in Successful Stroke Survivor and accompanying DVDs.

An innovative and simple idea created by Dr Tom Balchin which has helped thousands of survivors around the world since 2011, is now standardised here for you with his ideas of optimal content.

P1030619 300x200 - Get Task Training Board: Do Upper Limb Rehabilitation After Stroke! - Stroke Exercise TrainingRed, Pink or Silver: choose your colour for a Christmas gift to yourself or another!

Comes with a full colour, fully illustrated 10-page A4 GUIDE for use.

The laptop tray, which can be opened and locked at any angle, is covered with strategically placed Velcro hook and comb strips and squares. 11 different tactile items, each with different manual challenge, have been sourced and purchased for stroke survivors to practice grasp, place and release. 

2018 11 21 15 14 56 - Get Task Training Board: Do Upper Limb Rehabilitation After Stroke! - Stroke Exercise TrainingThese are really great for people to try, if there is spasticity or flaccidity present – and this is the stepping stone that we have found for countless ARNI patients over the years that works to progress their hand from one phase to another. Best advice is always start off with the wooden pegs in slots. Physiotherapists have, among their many upper limb measures, a test called the ‘9 hole peg test’. This is an idea borrowed and scaled up from that test, with slots to enable practice. Advice is (all present in the Guide), is to start off with these, working on ‘getting the gap’.

UPPER LIMB ARNI REHAB STROKE EXERCISES GUIDE 225x300 - Get Task Training Board: Do Upper Limb Rehabilitation After Stroke! - Stroke Exercise TrainingDr Tom shows you in the Guide how to try create the temporary ability via a particular stretching sequence how to maintain a gap between thumb, index and middle finger to enable a grasp upon command. The idea is to work up to being able to go up and down the line, lifting and replacing.

When you can do this, it’s time to move on to more challenging items on the board. The longest, smoothest and widest items are the most challenging. The Velcro always keep the paretic hand from knocking over items as the survivor attempts to grasp items until more fluidity/accuracy is gained. All is explained in the Guide and DVDs. You are going to like this approach; it gives SERIOUS RESULTS in terms of action control.

This is a must-have for all stroke survivors with upper limb limitations. 

Sourcing the varying of thickness and adhesiveness of very high-strength Velcro, the cost of the lockable laptop board itself, combined with the cost of the items adds up surprisingly. We have done all this and put the time in to create and offer you this at the very best possible price to cover outlay.

Get yours here to help yourself or your loved one with ARNI style upper-limb training… and get a fully-illustrated colour 10 page accompanying Guide with it! 

Go to the Products page to get the Task-Board.

IMPORTANT – Instructors and survivors will also be using this board together for forthcoming upper-limb telerehab sessions.

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Forgive us mentioning Christmas cards in November! But if you do send cards this year,  do think about getting some of these?

100% of your money will go back to ARNI Charity to help support survivors and families to deal with the aftermath of stroke and other acquired brain injuries.

The card itself was created by one of our survivors, Alex, who came to us aged 8. He is now 13. He used the training he had done over these many years to conquer/manage the effects of spasticity in his hand – and created this superb and meaningful image on the card!

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He was able to fully open his more-affected hand, keep it open without assistance, paint on it and lay it flat without assistance, on a piece of paper – then sprinkle glitter and so on. It sounds easy to those without upper limb spasticity (one of his limitations), but it was the result of years of training, goals, micro-achievements etc.

There is a few lines of explanation on the back of the card for your recipients…

Card is SUPERB quality thickness and A5 size.

Limited stock available… do have a look!

Press here GET MY CARD SET!


atrial fibrilliation ARNI 770x330 - Atrial Fibrillation raises risk of stroke by 5: can you tell if you have it? - Stroke Exercise Training

Did you know that Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a contributing factor in up to 1 in 5 strokes in the UK?

2018 10 11 20 21 36 - Atrial Fibrillation raises risk of stroke by 5: can you tell if you have it? - Stroke Exercise TrainingGiven that around 1 in 5 women, and around 1 in 6 men will have a stroke in their life, you really need to be aware and checking up on this.

If you have an irregular pulse it could be a sign that you have an abnormal heart rhythm. AF is one of the most common forms of abnormal heart rhythm and a major cause of stroke.

AF might not be bad on its own, but it keeps bad company. Many people tend not to realise that AF is one of the largest risk factors for major strokes, and it can cause congestive heart failure and other cardiac diseases.

AF increases stroke risk by around four to five times because it increases the risk of a blood clot forming inside the heart. If the clot travels to the brain, it can lead to a stroke.

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The good news is that with appropriate treatment the risk of stroke can be substantially reduced.

Understanding, recognising and taking proactive measures against AF can potentially save your life.

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Part of what makes atrial fibrillation so dangerous is that many people with the disease may experience mild, negligible symptoms, or even none at all.

Your heart’s pumping action is controlled by tiny electrical messages produced by a part of the heart called the sinus node (sino-atrial node). The sinus node is sometimes called your heart’s ‘natural pacemaker’. Normally, the electrical messages are sent out regularly, with each message telling your heart to contract and pump blood around your body.

This is felt as a normal, regular heartbeat, or pulse felt at the wrist.

In the case of a very fast or irregular fast-beat, go and see a Doctor ASAP!

IMPORTANT: Diagnosing AF is usually a fairly simple process that includes a Doctor’s exam and an electrocardiogram (EKG). If AF is detected, your doctor may want to do follow-up tests and blood work to ensure there are no other underlying diseases such as high blood pressure.

Atrial fibrillation happens because, as well as the sinus node sending out regular electrical impulses, different places in and around the atria (the upper chambers of the heart) also produce electrical messages, in an uncoordinated way. These multiple, irregular messages make the atria quiver or twitch, which is known as fibrillation. This is felt as an irregular and sometimes fast heartbeat, or pulse.

By the way, if you’re wondering, genetics, other cardiac diseases, diabetes, obesity, smoking, sleep apnea, lung disorders, hormonal disorders and excessive alcohol consumption are all potential risk factors as well.

There is currently no cure for AF and the way it is treated is individualised to the patient’s needs. It may involve medication (both to prevent a stroke and to control the heart rate or rhythm) such as anticoagulant (blood thinning) drugs like warfarin or a newer type of drugs called NOACs., cardioversion (when the heart is given a controlled electric shock with the aim of restoring a normal rhythm) and catheter ablation (this works by scarring or destroying tissue in the heart that triggers the AF). Having a pacemaker fitted to help the heart beat regularly may also be an option for some people.

With grateful thanks to the Heart Rhythm Alliance, in partnership with MyTherapy.

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Stroke Survivors, as well as the professionals who treat them, need to be armed with the latest in stroke research in order to apply the evidence-base to their practice. For survivors, the definition of ‘practice’ I refer to means simply the way in which stroke survivors HAVE to know more about how to practise the kinds of action control that they would look like to do. This is about ramping up the ‘doses’ (input/repetitions) of training/treatment that are applied/guided and or autonomously-completed, with the idea of compiling multiple dosage over time to try and cause beneficial functional change.

2018 09 28 14 49 46 - The latest in stroke research in 2 days: UKSF Conference - Stroke Exercise Trainingfabienne malaprade ARNI stroke rehabilitation 300x225 - The latest in stroke research in 2 days: UKSF Conference - Stroke Exercise TrainingThe 13th UK Stroke Forum Conference takes place at The International Centre, Telford, from 4 – 6 December 2018 and it welcomes stroke survivors who want to find out more about how to tackle their residual limitations.

The conference will feature over 20 main conference sessions, each focused on a different aspect of stroke care, over 110 expert speakers and researchers giving talks on the latest research updates and service improvements, over 60 exhibition stands to showcase new innovations and industry developments and over 300 research posters including ongoing trials.

There will be practical workshops (ARNI Instructor Pete Rumbold will be giving a group class demo for stroke survivors who attend), stroke survivors sharing their experiences and debate sessions.

ARNI STROKE NEUROREHAB EXERCISES DATA e1538143643800 300x225 - The latest in stroke research in 2 days: UKSF Conference - Stroke Exercise Training30650320973 b5f6dc175b 200x300 - The latest in stroke research in 2 days: UKSF Conference - Stroke Exercise TrainingCome and see us at the ARNI table at the Charities section! We have been running a table for 10 years at this outstanding Conference.

It is without doubt the most major Conference for Stroke in the annual calendar.

You can view the preliminary programme and ‘at a glance programme’ here.

See the delegate rates for the UKSF Conference 2018.

For stroke survivors, the 2 day complete rate is just £182 (early bird) or £214. Compare this to standard 2 day rate of £436 (early bird) or £514!

I’ve never worked out how they do it at this price… please book RIGHT NOW to come along, if your circumstances allow you to, and take everything in. A large part of all this is networking too…

You can also get discounted accommodation

You need to be there! See you there!!

maxresdefault 300x169 - The latest in stroke research in 2 days: UKSF Conference - Stroke Exercise TrainingDe7YZiNX0AAnzw1 300x225 - The latest in stroke research in 2 days: UKSF Conference - Stroke Exercise TrainingIf you need to know a little more  about Conference before registering interest/calling the Stroke Association, please email and I’ll do my best to help with questions/steer to the right person at Stroke Association who can answer your question(s) asap…

For ARNI therapists/instructors and others who would like to come, the UKSF conference gives you the opportunity to gain relevant accredited professional training, find out the latest research and service developments, learn about new innovations and services in the exhibition and network with colleagues/meet professionals from across the entire care pathway.

Please hurry to book – these tickets are at a premium.

stroke; exercise; rehabilitation, rehab

Kieron, a former Commando based in Poole, is climbing 4 Peaks around the UK, leading a group of stroke survivors, spporters and helpers across them all, in order to raise funds for our Stroke Charity.

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His goal is to raise £8,000 for ARNI and he needs YOUR help… (click JustGiving logo OR/AND read on)

These are funds that we very much need in order that we can continue to carry on real-life rehabilitation across the U.K. Because the Charity has no employees, all kind donations go 100% to helping stroke survivors rehabilitate.

Kieron says:

IMG 20180804 WA0001 225x300 - Four Giant Steps for Stroke: Help ARNI to Help Survivors - Stroke Exercise Training2018 09 04 13 21 09 219x300 - Four Giant Steps for Stroke: Help ARNI to Help Survivors - Stroke Exercise TrainingLike so many people, I didn’t really know much about strokes. I didn’t understand what they were and what effects they have. I thought it was something that only affects the old and unhealthy. I was very very wrong. Strokes can happen to anybody, any age, any fitness, any race. It does not distinguish between how much money you have, how good of a person you are or what your religion is. When it strikes, it strikes without warning, without prejudice and without mercy.

Since helping at ARNI I have seen that when a stroke happens right from its first attack the odds are stacked against you, even by a small miracle you survive, life as you know it will be permanently changed, learning how to speak, sit, walk and understand. I wanted to try and do what I could to balance the odds for people around me.

This lead me onto putting together a Fundraiser. We talked over some great ideas, and then my life as a former soldier came into the equation. Mountember was then born. The idea: take something simple, and make it hard. So, walking is simple for most people, how about people with stroke. NOT so simple. How about walking up a mountain? Impossible? Perhaps… could it be done?

With preparation, preparation and preparation, it can be, 

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We will be walking up Pen–Y–Fan in Wales, Mt Snowdon in North Wales, Scafell Pike in The Lake District and Ben Nevis in Scotland. Each Sunday in September we will tackle one of these peaks, working our way up the country.

Stroke survivors will be accompanied by their coaches, trainers, helpers and friends and medics.

Training has been tough, outside hill training, using step machines inside and lots of other work.

We have spent weeks planning the routes, logistics, setting up the social media and just giving pages along with insurances, T-shirts, organising venues etc.

Our goal is to raise £8,000 for A.R.N.I and with that they will be able to train more physios and instructors to carry on real-life rehabilitation across the U.K. 

Help us to help those that have beaten the odds, already – help them live and thrive rather than just survive.


Please help right now by going to THE JUST GIVING MOUNTEMBER PAGE!!


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If you are able to transfer from bed to chair independently or with assistance, you may be offered an Early Supported Discharge (ESD) as long as a safe and secure environment can be provided. The team is responsible for making sure your home is suitable, that your family is supported through this change, and you must all be in agreement that this ESD is the best course of action for you.

Your family and/or carers must be involved in every part of the planning for your transfer of care. Your family/carers might need – and should take up – training in caring for you – for instance, in moving, handling, helping with dressing and so on. You should expect to receive the same intensity of therapy and range of multidisciplinary skills available in hospital.

A key point: your family/carers really should plan, whilst you’re still in hospital, for when the community therapy team finishes.

They need to do the Googling and makes some calls. They need to engage an independent physiotherapist (who can literally be gold dust if they are not traditional therapists and instead, do task-training and strength training with you and advise appropriate adjuncts to training) who can come in to your house after community therapy finishes. Be careful that you are offered a reasonable rate.

Or they/you can call ARNI, and get linked with one of my own group of 130 active stroke specialist physios and trainers, who deliver the above at usually a lower cost as they are tasked to offer a reasonably charitable rate including petrol. Cost is only half of the reason that you should think about engaging an ARNI trainer however as there are some literally vital techniques for the stroke survivor’s armoury that they can teach you.

20150319 184237 e1533074150515 169x300 - Returning Home after Stroke - Stroke Exercise TrainingEarly discharges from hospitals are a good idea to free up hospital beds and to get you back to familiar surroundings once again. But only if the support mechanism of your further ‘re-training’ is in place. Often the support can finish too quickly, leaving survivors (and usually their families/carers too) worried about what to do next, and who to go to for further help. Outpatient therapy and community care, or the lack of it, is often quite wrongly, blamed for not solving all problems.

Being at home is good. It really is all just much better at home. IF there is support for you there, and you are not just returning back to somewhere where you cannot cope with being, for whatever reason. This needs careful management and forethought.

There is evidence that you can recover physically just as well with a therapist’s or trainer’s help and ‘retraining’ yourself at your home rather than at hospital. It’s good for you psychologically: you will see all your familiar things again – which allows you to feel more ‘normal’ and in control. You might feel that your rehab will not be as intensive now, and you may be right.

But relatively little therapy time (actually a homeopathic dose as far stimulating plasticity was concerned) was actually going on in hospital anyway due to time and resources. The therapists would have loved to have helped you for many, many hours per day but large workloads get in the way, so after community therapy is finished, you just need to ensure that you’re doing something everyday. This is where engaging help and self-rehab comes in – it’s the mix of both of these that will allow the successful creation of a progressive programme for you, which will be the rock around which every intervention from method (eg. CIMT) to technology (eg. upper limb robotics combined with VR) revolves.

So now it’s discharge time? Well, this is good! Don’t fear it.

All your information will be given to the relevant health and social care professionals, and you should have the same comprehensive copy as well. Your family members/carers, and to an extent you too, should try and become as informed as possible. They need to become the ‘expert patient’ on your behalf. They need to know your current and future needs, possibilities for improvement and how and where to get further assistance.

photo 2 300x225 - Returning Home after Stroke - Stroke Exercise TrainingThis information will include a summary of your rehabilitation progress and your current goals, your diagnosis and your current health status. Functional abilities, which include communication needs are included as well as your care needs – washing, dressing, going to the toilet, eating and so on.

It is vital also that information regarding your psychological needs are fully explored and understood by the community team as you may have cognitive problems and emotional needs at this stage in your recovery. The information about your medications, including your ability to manage them, your social circumstances, which include your carer’s needs, and your mental capacity with regard to your transfer decision are up there on the list for your health care in the community.

Included also is a risk management assessment which must include the needs of vulnerable adults.

Your family member/carers must make sure you are aware of the plans for follow-up rehabilitation and access to health and social care and how voluntary sector services such as Stroke Association, Different Strokes, ARNI etc can help.

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What is Aphasia?

download 1 - 2 great ways to help those with speech difficulties after stroke - Stroke Exercise TrainingAphasia is more common than you might think.

  • every five minutes someone in the UK has a stroke.
  • there are approximately 152,000 strokes in the UK every year.

About a third of these people will have Aphasia. Aphasia is a communication disorder that can affect a person’s ability to speak, to understand speech, and to read and write. It can occur after a neurological injury, such as stroke. Aphasia is mainly treated by speech and language therapy.

Aphasia research is ongoing; studies include revealing underlying problems of brain tissue damage, the links between comprehension and expression, rehabilitation methods, drug therapy, speech therapy, and other ways to understand and treat aspects of aphasia.

But currently very little information can be given to people with aphasia about whether their language will get better, and how long this might take.

cathy price - 2 great ways to help those with speech difficulties after stroke - Stroke Exercise TrainingThe PLORAS research study aims to improve our understanding of how language works in the brain. Their goal for the future is to be able to give people with aphasia, their families and healthcare professionals a prediction about:

  • How much language the person is likely to re-gain.
  • How long this is likely to take.

So, the two ways to help stroke patients with aphasia?

  1. STROKE SURVIVORS WITH APHASIA – come for an MRI brain scan

The PLORAS study is carried out by conducting structural and functional MRI scans with people who have had a stroke, and by carrying out a language test. Both people with and without communication problems are included. This information is analysed together with information about time post-stroke, to look for patterns in recovery.

2018 06 26 15 29 40 - 2 great ways to help those with speech difficulties after stroke - Stroke Exercise TrainingUpdates on the progress of their research can be found on their website,

or by downloading their latest newsletter.

Please get involved!!

Opportunity for non-stroke survivors to get involved!


2. EVEN IF YOU HAVEN’T HAD A STROKE, please come for an MRI Brain Scan.

Currently the PLORAS team is ALSO inviting people who have NOT had a stroke to have an MRI brain scan at their centre. Please help the team…

This is because they need some participants to act as ‘healthy controls’ to help them adjust their lesion identification software.

If you think that you might be interested, please get in touch by emailing, or by calling 020 7813 1538. The team will need to ask some questions about your medical history in order to meet the strict safety criteria at their Centre.

The PLORAS research study is based at the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging and is led by Professor Cathy Price.

Below is a talk given by Professor Cathy Price – click and play!

PLORAS would like to thank ARNI for the support for stroke survivors

Other Support for Aphasia and Stroke:

PLORAS useful links – a list of organisations that provide information or support

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Just a quick note on GDPR – Changes and Privacy Rights.

kalendar - GDPR: ARNI CHARITY FOR STROKE - Stroke Exercise TrainingWelcome to the new Data Laws coming in to effect tomorrow: May 25th.

ARNI keeps no data about you at all except your email address. 

These are used once a month or so only by one person (Dr Balchin) to send emails concerning stroke rehabilitation. 

Just to let you know that we have your data safe.

Your privacy is important to ARNI and we take our responsibility regarding the security of your personal information very seriously.

To reflect the newest changes in data protection law (the General Data Protection Regulations – GDPR), and our commitment to transparency, we have updated our Privacy Policy.

Nothing is changing about how your information is processed, rather, we’ve updated the privacy policy on our website to improve transparency and describe our data protection practices. This updated version of the Privacy Policy is available on our website: Data Policy

If you would like to find out more about any of this, or have any GDPR related queries please reply to this email or contact

2018 04 14 16 08 44 - Recovery of Upper Limb: Try Gamification - Stroke Exercise Training

Following stroke, 85% of people suffer from weakness and only 5-45% regain full function of their arm, resulting in increased dependence and reduced quality of life (Nichols –Larsen et al 2005, Kong et al 2011).  In addition, reduced upper limb function has been found to be the strongest predictor of reduced psychological well-being following stroke (Wyller et al 1997).

Dr Cherry Kilbride, who has done some pilot studies to examine the efficacy of the ARNI techniques, has asked us to disseminate information about a new trial she and her team are running at Brunel University.

The Rhombus Study

The primary aim of this project is to assess the feasibility (i.e. can it be used), and acceptability (i.e. do people like it) of using an intervention at home for the rehabilitation of the arm after stroke. This research study is funded by Innovate UK and is a partnership between Brunel University London and Neurofenix, a bio-engineeering SME (small & medium sized enterprise).

The current study will recruit 30 stroke survivors who can provide informed consent, who are 18 years old or over, who are at least 12 weeks post stroke, are not receiving rehabilitation for their arm from another provider (i.e. NHS or private therapist) and still have a problem with moving the arm (full inclusion and exclusion criteria provided in the Participant Information Sheet). Key exclusion criteria include pain in the arm at rest, and photosensitivity epilepsy in adulthood.

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The stroke survivors will use this device: the ‘Gameball’, created by Neurofenix. It is an upper limb rehabilitation device and software for gamification of stroke rehabilitation. Gameball is a portable device that uses either a hand controller or easy to put on arm bands that allow all in one arm training through uniquely designed rehabilitation games displayed on a laptop or tablet. The Gameball has been designed by bio-engineers with the input of stroke survivors and specialist physiotherapists. The Gameball has previously been tested for usability in a university setting and was positively received by all 18 stroke survivors and found to be safe and enjoyable to use

What does the study involve?
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For a participant, the study will begin with a researcher attending the participants in their homes to perform a baseline assessment. One week later the researcher will deliver the Gameball device and train the participant how to use the device. The participant will then be asked to progressively increase the amount of time they use the device over the first week they have it. After that first week the participants will be asked to use the device as much as safely possible for 6 weeks. The participant will have the Gameball for a total of 7 weeks before the researcher then collects the Gameball and performs an assessment. The researcher will return 4 weeks later to perform a final follow up assessment. The total process will last 12 weeks.


You can find more information here:

Download the patient information sheet right here: RHOMBUS Participant Information



Why does this study focus on Upper Limb?

Rehabilitation for the arm post stroke is at best scant, as the focus of rehabilitation in the acute phase post stroke is on getting the patient home. Time spent on retraining the upper limb is very low (Lang et al 2009). Effective treatment interventions post stroke are characterised by high intensity and repetitive practice (Langhorne et al 2009). However, changes in infrastructure, resource pressures, an emphasis on mobility during rehabilitation and recent policies advocating earlier discharge home -such as Care Closer to Home- (DoH 2008) have resulted in challenges delivering the amount of rehabilitation necessary to optimise recovery (McHugh et al 2013). In consequence, there is a greater emphasis on stroke survivor’s exercising independently without the presence of a therapist. However, there are issues with delivering this, including problems providing feedback of results and performance,  measuring progress and ensuring compliance with prescribed exercise regimes (Deutsch et al 2007, Holden et al 2007, Durfee at al 2009, Golomb et al 2010, Hendrie 2011). Lack of perceived support and boredom with exercises are the most frequently cited factors associated with poor compliance (Hendrie 2011,Tijou et al 2010).

It has been suggested that the use of virtual reality games and activities could help address issues of boredom and compliance and therefore help provide the high intensity, repetitious practice necessary to drive recovery  (Saposnik et al 2010, Saposnik & Levin 2011, Laver et al 2011). In addition, the provision of visual feedback via an on-screen character (avatar) has been postulated to activate “mirror neurones” (brain cells involved in performing a movement which also “fire” when observing a movement) which has been suggested may aid recovery from stroke (Celnik et al 2006, Francheshini et al 2012).

Need low-cost upper limb products right now?

Try low-cost ARNI Neuroreach, Neurostrong and Neurogripper for size. Click any of the recommended products below.

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Heidi Johansen-Berg is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience and Director of The Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging at the University of Oxford. There, she leads the Centre for Functional MRI of the Brain. Her research focuses on how the brain changes with learning, experience, and damage. 

As well as shedding light on how the healthy brain responds to change, her team’s work also has implications for understanding and treating disease. For example, they are testing new methods for rehabilitation after stroke and assessing whether taking up exercise could slow the effects of age on the brain.


If so, Professor Johnsen Berg-has asked us to disseminate a study in which you may be interested in participating – or you may know someone who is.

stroke arni upper limb oxford study 300x225 - Difficulty moving arm/hand after stroke? Neurofeedback - Stroke Exercise TrainingThe aim for this study is to research a treatment method to see if can improve upper limb function.

Many stroke survivors experience weakness to one side of the body, leaving them with difficulties in daily activities. Current physical therapies are limited in their success and are very time demanding. Therefore, treatments to use alongside rehabilitation are sought.

Learning is an important part of rehabilitation after stroke. When learning a new movement or skill it is important to get feedback so that you can repeat movements that were successful or try to adapt ones that did not work as well. What if there was a way to also get feedback of your brain activity when trying different movements?

Researchers at the University of Oxford are currently testing a new type of treatment for stroke survivors using MRI Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback involves participants being shown a live visual display of their brain activity whilst in an MRI scanner so that they can see which kinds of movements are best to increase the activity in the brain hemisphere where the stroke occurred.

Participants are asked to lie in the scanner and try to move their affected hand in different ways. The activity of their brain is recorded while they perform these movements and then shown to them as a ‘thermometer type’ bar that gets bigger with more activity.

Previous neurofeedback studies by Dr Heather Neyedli of the University of Oxford (Neyedli et al., Neuroscience, 2017) tried showing real or placebo feedback while volunteers who had not had a stroke moved their hands. They found that people could use this technique to change their brain activity while moving their hand.

There has been limited work with stroke survivors using this technique and researchers at Oxford are currently looking for people who have difficulty using their hand/arm after a stroke to take part in some MRI neurofeedback sessions to see if this treatment can improve motor function.

If you would like to join this study/find out more, please feel free to contact the researchers:

Mr Tom Smejka:

Dr Melanie Fleming:

Professor Heidi Johansen-Berg:


CALL 01865 611461


Example of visual display showing increasing brain activity

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Below is a talk given by Professor Johansen-Berg – click and play!