Rhythmic auditory stimulation,
a robust neurological rehabilitation method
Rhythmic auditory stimulation has been studied and described for more than 20 years. This method of neurological rehabilitation consists in introducing an artificial rhythm by means of external rhythmic sound stimulation. It is based on the strong interactions between the hearing and motor systems at the central level.
The root neurons of the cochlea project bilaterally and synapse at the level of the neurons of the reticulo-spinal pathway. This pathway is widely described and represents one of the pathways involved in extra-pyramidal (involuntary) motor activity.
This is the most direct link between the two systems studied, so a stimulation of this pathway could excite motor spinal neurons and reduce the muscle response time to respond to a given order.
Stimulation of the primary auditory cortex influences two major pathways for movement processing and timing management: The cortico-basal ganglia-thalamo-cortical loop (CBGTC loop) and the CTC pathway (cerebello-thalamo-cortical).
Hyperactivations of the CTC pathway are described both in the initiation of movement in patients with Parkinson's disease and in finger-tapping exercises. This path appears as a major path in sensorimotor dialogues and in the development of synchronized walking on an external signal.
Robust clinical results
Many studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this technique in Parkinson's disease treatment and its benefits in improving conventional spatio-temporal walking parameters such as speed or stride length.
Nieuwboer's study reported the impact of using an RAS device at home over 6 weeks of training on 153 patients with Parkinson's disease. As previously demonstrated, there is an increase in the speed and stride length of patients. Motor skills are slightly increased with an improvement in posture ,walking score (4.2%) and balance tests.
In addition, improving patient balance and confidence reduces the risk of falling.
Improve the quality of life of patients daily
Improved walking and balance
for 57% of subjects
for 43 % of subjects
Reduction of freezing of gait severity
for subjects who fall frequently