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Robot-Assisted Body-Weight-Supported Treadmill Training in Gait Impairment in Multiple Sclerosis Patients: A Pilot Study
This study deals with the use of a robot-assisted body-weight-supported treadmill training in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with gait dysfunction. Twenty MS patients (10 men and 10 women) of the mean of 46.3 ± 8.5 years were assigned to a six-week-long training period with the use of robot-assisted treadmill training of increasing intensity of the Lokomat type. The outcome measure consisted of the difference in motion-dependent torque of lower extremity joint muscles after training compared with baseline before training. We found that the training uniformly and significantly augmented the torque of both extensors and flexors of the hip and knee joints. The muscle power in the lower limbs of SM patients was improved, leading to corrective changes of disordered walking movements, which enabled the patients to walk with less effort and less assistance of care givers. The torque augmentation could have its role in affecting the function of the lower extremity muscle groups during walking. The results of this pilot study suggest that the robot-assisted body-weight-supported treadmill training may be a potential adjunct measure in the rehabilitation paradigm of ‘gait reeducation’ in peripheral neuropathies.
KeywordsGait Joint function Lower extremity Multiple sclerosis Muscle strength Robot-assisted muscle actuator Torque Treadmill training
Conflicts of Interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest in relation to this article.
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