|Long-Term, Intensive Robot-Assisted Therapy Helps Paraplegic Patients Walk Again|
|Tuesday, 23 August 2016 02:08|
Aug. 23, 2016 12:00 UTC
Long-Term, Intensive Robot-Assisted Therapy Helps Paraplegic Patients Walk Again
NORWELL, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Last week, Nature Publishing Group sent the scientific areas of the Internet into a frenzy by publishing a groundbreaking study that proves the positive effects of long-term training with Brain Machine Interfaces (BMI) on patients who have suffered a spinal cord injury (SCI).
The study titled “Long-Term Training with a Brain-Machine Interface-Based Gait Protocol Induces Partial Neurological Recovery in Paraplegic Patients” was conducted by an international group of scientists, led by the Duke University neurobiologist Miguel Nicolelis and demonstrates that it’s never too late to start intensive therapy.
Eight patients with chronic paraplegia, who have been completely paralyzed for 3 to 13 years, participated in a 12-month training program which they called the Walk Again Neurorehabilitation (WA-NR) protocol. Participants first learned to control a 3D avatar on a screen by imagining moving their arms or legs. In further stages, they learned how to control a robotic gait trainer in the same way. The final stage consisted of gait training with a brain-controlled robotic exoskeleton. In addition, patients also trained many hours with a traditional robotic gait trainer throughout the study period.
Finally giving proof to a well-known fact in leading rehabilitation centers
Studies like this give hope to patients with neurological conditions and prove that medical technology companies that develop solutions to foster neuroplasticity are on the right track. Brain Machine Interfaces combined with other therapies will improve current therapy standards.
It’s not a miracle
One example from Germany is Samuel Koch who severely injured his spinal cord on live television in 2010. The tetraplegic was told that in his case, robotic gait training with the Lokomat would not help him. Starting a few months ago, Koch has had access to regular Lokomat training and already reported to the newspaper Darmstädter Echo: “Since I started training on the Lokomat, my body awareness has significantly improved. While walking in the Lokomat, I feel the pressure of my entire sole walking on the treadmill and surprisingly even my left shinbone.”
Hocoma works internationally with leading rehabilitation centers to integrate intensive therapy models into the daily routines of clinics and hospitals worldwide. “When you buy a Hocoma solution, you buy more than a product,” Colombo continues. “We have dedicated service and education teams who help integrate advanced technologies into your clinical setting. This is crucial for success of the therapy.”
Walk Again Project Video
This is what we work for at the Swiss medtech company Hocoma. With technologies and ideas that look at functional movement therapy from a completely different angle. Because they enable independent exercises and create maximum motivation. Because they challenge people to take courage and support their hopes with personal achievements.
We are committed to creating the ideal therapy. Our awarded robotic and sensor-based devices offer solutions for intensive gait therapy (Lokomat®, Andago®), functional therapy of the upper extremities (Armeo®), robotic mobilization and functional electrical stimulation in early rehabilitation (Erigo®) as well as functional movement therapy within low back pain treatment (Valedo® Therapy Concept) at home and at the clinic. They are the result of intensive research, consistent development and continuous exchange with patients, therapists and partners in research and science.
Those who see to break new grounds need to stay open to exceptional ideas. They have the potential of being exceptionally effective. This guiding principle by Hocoma founder and CEO Dr. Gery Colombo has accompanied us since our start in 2000 and is still lived and implemented by our dedicated employees around the world.
Use only under the supervision of qualified medical personnel. However, certain Hocoma products are marketed for home use and must be strictly used according to the recommendations of your medical care provider who is knowledgeable about your specific needs. Consult the User Manual and Hocoma’s website (www.hocoma.com/legalnotes) for appropriate product designation. Failure to obtain and follow the recommendations of your medical care provider may result in serious personal injury.
This information provides details about medical products which may not be available in all countries and may not have received approval or market clearance by all governmental regulatory bodies throughout the world. Nothing herein should be construed as a solicitation or promotion of any product or of an indication of any specific use for any product which is not authorized by the laws and regulations of the country where the reader of this information resides.