The Air Force Times has an article on how a retired Army colonel is using a simple pegboard to help with recovery post stroke. The device, which asks the user to follow simple instructions and move pegs around the board, has received little laboratory scrutiny for efficacy. But considering it is simply a game meant to combine mental processes with physical movement, the patient surely can’t be worse off for trying it.
From the AFT:
A few months ago, Sanchez [Retired Army Col. Ramon Sanchez] began using a device developed by Diego Guillen, a former computer installer from Alcalde.
“Now I am doing everything I was told I wasn’t going to be able to do,” he said.
The Automated Pegboard 2000, a machine that resembles a child’s geometric puzzle, helps brain-injury patients rebuild motor functions. Sanchez’s son-in-law convinced the skeptical colonel to try it after a chance meeting with the inventor several months ago.
There is little scientific validation of the APB 2000. But in an article published in the Journal of Applied Research in 2003, researchers at Loma Linda University in California who tested the pegboard concluded it “appears to be a highly reliable tool.”
Brain-injury experts in the state said they don’t feel comfortable talking about the APB 2000 because they have never seen it in action. But Sanchez said, “I think this has the potential to help a lot of our returning veterans.”
Guillen’s pegboard works by giving the patient a set of instructions to move shapes across a puzzle board and fit them into specified spots. A computer monitors the time it takes for the patient to process the instructions and then execute them.