Rhythmic Exercises with Auditory Clues (REAC) in the rehabilitation of TBI

Rhythmic movement of arms and legs during exercise has been thought to improve brain plasticity and recovery after injury. REAC is a program in which this type of rhythmic movement is done with a metronome, used for an auditory cue. Patients who use it complete exercises that-for instance-alternate hands and feet, use bilateral movement in a single motion, walk rhythmically, or use cross-midline movements.

A recent case study was published about a TBI patient who used Rhythmex, a REAC program, for a year. She started the program nine years after her injury, and had right hemiparesis. After a year on the program, the patient showed decreased spasticity, increased sensation in arms and legs, and smoother overall movement. Additionally, she showed cognitive improvement demonstrated by a significant increased in IQ score. As a result, the patient had the confidence to increase her independence and soon moved into her own apartment, started looking for a job, and spent more time socializing.

A REAC program is easy enough to administer at home, and, as seen in this case study, can lead to dramatic motor, cognitive, and psychological improvements.

Goldshtrom Y, Knorr G, & Goldshtrom I. Rhythmic exercises in rehabilitation of TBI patients: A case report. Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies. (October 2010).