Kinarm Labs and Kinarm Standard Tests address one of the most urgent issues in the management of brain injury and disease: the lack of objective assessment. For example, to test visuomotor coordination, the clinician rates the patient’s ability to touch their nose and then the clinician’s finger on a three point scale ( 0, 1 or 2) – a necessarily coarse ordinal score to ensure reliability. Unfortunately, such coarseness makes it difficult to identify subtle changes in sensorimotor function and leads to floor and ceiling effects in the scoring system. These methods lag behind the level of precision and consistency that modern clinical scientists need, and represent a significant barrier to the development of new therapies.
The results produced by Kinarm Labs are objective, quantitative and sensitive to change. Driven by our suite of standardized protocols and analyses called Kinarm Standard Tests, Kinarm Labs are providing clinician scientists around the world with advanced instrumentation to explore a range of issues on brain injuries and disease.
Kinarm Labs allow clinical researchers to:
- Differentiate – Identify subject-specific behavioral measures that uniquely characterize the subject’s neurological deficit
- Select – Identify subjects for research protocols based on their deficit profile
- Target – Design new patient-centered therapies to address the patient-specific impairment of the brain injury or disease
- Measure – Collect objective data on the subject’s response to therapies
- Advance – Translate treatments for brain injury from lab to clinic.
See registered clinical trials involving Kinarm at Clinical Trials.gov
In this section, we profile a selection of clinician scientists who are performing ground-breaking research using the Kinarm.
Stroke and TIA
Dr. Sean Dukelow and Dr. Al Jin have both used the Kinarm to conduct research into the identification and quantification of neurological impairments arising from stroke and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Studies are underway in stroke rehabilitation, stroke drug development and long-term deficits resulting from transient ischemic attack.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Dr. Brain Benson is using the Kinarm at the Canadian Sport Institute to investigate the degree of neurological impairment resulting from sport-related concussion, and to ensure patients’ safe return to sport. Dr. Paul van Donkelaar is currently researching TBI in the context of intimate partner violence, a crucial and often over-looked issue in Canada.
Using the Kinarm Exoskeleton Lab, Dr. Amy Bastian has produced significant findings about cerebellar disorders. New applications for Kinarm Labs are emerging in the identification of pre-symptomatic deficits related to Alzheimer’s, quantification of sensorimotor deficits in ALS, and development of new drug therapies for Parkinson’s.
Dr. Adam Kirton is using the Kinarm to help discover new therapies for children with stroke-induced cerebral palsy. His research looks beyond the motor deficits caused by CP towards more complex and subtle sensory deficits.
Dr. Gordon Boyd uses the Kinarm to study the neurological effects of oxygen deprivation in the brain caused by critical illness, surgery, and kidney disease and dialysis. Dr. Catherine Mercier is using the Kinarm in various populations suffering from chronic pain (complex regional pain syndrome, fibromyalgia, spinal cord injury) to study how pain affects body perception and sensorimotor performance.
Clinical Research Sites
Kinarm Labs have been used at top-tier clinical research sites for over a decade.
Publications by Research Area
Over 275 publications have relied on the objectivity, precision, and quality of Kinarm Labs for data collection.