Do You Have Rhythm?
Did you know that having rhythm means more than singing well, dancing beautifully or being able to hit a homerun or catch a touchdown pass?
For many people, having rhythm means being able to remember simple things, follow along with a television program or read their favorite novel. Having rhythm can also mean being able to communicate through speech, understand a road sign or written instructions, walk without falling or pick up small objects without dropping them.
For people with neurological conditions, these seemingly simple tasks can be unbearably difficult, endlessly frustrating and, in some cases, keep them from being independent or living at home. Fortunately, new technology permits us to go beyond the traditional therapy exercises and strategies to allow for a more focused approach to treatment. One such exciting form of technology now available at Good Shepherd is Interactive Metronome® (IM).
What Is Interactive Metronome?
Interactive Metronome is an interactive computer-assistive assessment and training program adopted as part of Good Shepherd’s Neurorehabilitation  Program. Specially certified therapists are trained to utilize this treatment tool to improve the brain’s natural timing, more specifically, millisecond timing. Millisecond timing is important for performing everyday activities such as:
- Picking up objects
- Maintaining balance
- Paying attention to simple or complex things
- Problem solving
All of these tasks require the brain to perform a precise series of mental and/or physical sequences in response to the environment. When a neurological event or condition occurs, this timing can be interrupted, changing the way that the brain perceives information and responds to it. Such neurological conditions include but are not limited to:
- Stroke  (CVA)
- Traumatic brain injury  (TBI)
- Post-concussion 
- Motor deficits
- Cognitive deficits
- Speech and language disorders 
- Auditory/language and sensory processing disorders
- Balance disorders
- Multiple sclerosis 
- Parkinson’s disease 
How Is Interactive Metronome Used?
During a therapy session, the therapist will use a computer program coupled with special sensors placed on the patient’s hands and/or feet. These sensors communicate with the computer program, which in turn assesses the brain’s natural timing and coordination in response to a rhythmic beat. The therapist then uses this information, the patient’s history, goals and functional deficits to develop a custom training program that consists of six phases that increase in complexity as performance improves.
Our main goal at Good Shepherd is to promote functional independence and exceed patient and family expectations. If you feel that you or your family member could benefit from this exciting new therapy tool, please contact Good Shepherd Neurorehabilitation  at 610-776-3247, option 2.