Effective long-term for balance and walking
An Italian study has confirmed the findings of a Korean study that was featured on this website in the Summer edition in December 2014. This Italian study found that the six-week robotic-aided program of gait training proved effective long-term in improving balance and walking ability.
Gait impairment, balance problems and falls have a negative impact on independence in ADL and quality of life of patients affected by Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia (HSP). Since no pharmacological options are available, treatments rely mostly on rehabilitation therapy, although almost no data on this topic exist. Given the demonstrated effectiveness of robotics in improving gait and balance in various neurological diseases, aim of this study is to test the effectiveness of a robotic-aided program of gait training on balance, walking ability and quality of life in adult subjects affected by uncomplicated HSP.
Thirteen patients affected by uncomplicated HSP were subjected to a six-week robotic-aided gait training protocol. Participants underwent a battery of 3 walking test, 1 balance test and 2 quality of life questionnaires.
At the end of the treatment a significant improvement of balance, walking ability and quality of life was observed in almost all the tests. The improvements were maintained over a two-month follow-up period.
Our study indicates that a robotic gait training is long term effective in improving balance and walking ability with a positive impact on quality of life in patients affected by uncomplicated form of HSP. As currently there is no specific treatment to prevent or reverse HSP progression, our contribution would be significant for the development of exercise recommendations in this rare disease.
SOURCE: NeuroRehabilitation. 2015 Jan 1;36(1):93-9. doi: 10.3233/NRE-141196.
Robotic gait training improves motor skills and quality of life in hereditary spastic paraplegia.
Bertolucci F1, Di Martino S1, Orsucci D2, Ienco EC2, Siciliano G2, Rossi B1, Mancuso M2, Chisari C1.
- 1Neurorehabilitation Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.
- 2Neurology Unit, University Hospital of Pisa, Italy.
Sounds promising. Is it available in Australia?
Editor’s Note: The most commonly referenced gait training machine is the Lokomat. A Google search turned up an Australian company called HyperMED who reference Adelaide and Melbourne as locations with the machines http://www.hypermed.com.au/conditions/LOKOMAT%20Robotic%20Gait%20Assisted%20Walking.htm
You would need to ascertain the potential to access these machines and suitably qualified staff who could take you through a rehab program. Tell us what you learn.
Is this available in the United States? If not how would one go about getting a facility to make it avaiable?
Editor’s Note: We have no information on this for the US. 3 suggestions – do a Google search for the US; search the SP Foundation website http://www.sp-foundation.org/; and as a 3rd option, contact the SP Foundation and ask.