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Locomotor training through a novel robotic platform for gait rehabilitation in pediatric population: short report

AuthorsBayón, Cristina ; Lerma-Lara, Sergio; Ramírez, Óscar ; Serrano, José Ignacio ; Castillo Sobrino, María Dolores del ; Raya, Rafael ; Belda-Lois, Juan Manuel; Martínez, I.; Rocón, Eduardo
KeywordsCerebral palsy
Rehabilitation robotic
Exoskeleton device
Spastic diplegia
Case report
Issue Date14-Nov-2016
CitationJournal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation 13(1): 98 (2016)
Abstract[Background] Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a disorder of posture and movement due to a defect in the immature brain. The use of robotic devices as alternative treatment to improve the gait function in patients with CP has increased. Nevertheless, current gait trainers are focused on controlling complete joint trajectories, avoiding postural control and the adaptation of the therapy to a specific patient. This paper presents the applicability of a new robotic platform called CPWalker in children with spastic diplegia.
[Findings] CPWalker consists of a smart walker with body weight and autonomous locomotion support and an exoskeleton for joint motion support. Likewise, CPWalker enables strategies to improve postural control during walking. The integrated robotic platform provides means for testing novel gait rehabilitation therapies in subjects with CP and similar motor disorders. Patient-tailored therapies were programmed in the device for its evaluation in three children with spastic diplegia for 5 weeks. After ten sessions of personalized training with CPWalker, the children improved the mean velocity (51.94 ± 41.97 %), cadence (29.19 ± 33.36 %) and step length (26.49 ± 19.58 %) in each leg. Post-3D gait assessments provided kinematic outcomes closer to normal values than Pre-3D assessments.
[Conclusions] The results show the potential of the novel robotic platform to serve as a rehabilitation tool. The autonomous locomotion and impedance control enhanced the children’s participation during therapies. Moreover, participants’ postural control was substantially improved, which indicates the usefulness of the approach based on promoting the patient’s trunk control while the locomotion therapy is executed. Although results are promising, further studies with bigger sample size are required.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12984-016-0206-x
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