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Stroke robot

For the first time in the UK, a robot is being used to help rehabilitate stroke victims.

The robot is used to help stroke sufferers get movement back in their hands and arms.

Sue Saville has more.

Stroke patient Tony Seddon is being trained by the physiotherapist at Addenbrooke's Hospital on the first stroke rehabilitation robot of its kind in Britain.

The intensive repetition of movements means the robot can give benefits he says he couldn't otherwise achieve.

"It's doing things which I think you can't do in any other way. Stretching, concentration, the precision movement and it's all combined in one, so I think that benefits doing new things, really," he says.

After an hour, the professor whose pioneering the robot measures Tony's improvements.

 "In this particular section, there's quite a big obvious improvement in the accuracy in movement," says Prof. Duncan Turner.

The University of East London brought the kit over from America to help plug the gaps in physiotherapy for stroke patients.

"One can imagine say, for example, having three or four of these machines actually being used or overseen by one or two physiotherapists, but the key thing here is they'd actually be helping up to four, possibly five, patients simultaneously," he says.

This high-tech solution will help re-establish brain pathways, says Joe Korner with the Stroke Association.

"Repetition, repetition of a movement can help to create new pathways in the brain and this robot really does help people to do that because by guiding it it's also telling their brain what movement, what thought patterns, they have to do."

With 50-thousand people left disabled by stroke each year, now a robot will help some move towards recovery.

Sue Saville, ITV News

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