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Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2010 Nov;14(6):496-502. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2010.01.002. Epub 2010 Feb 6.

Robotic-assisted treadmill therapy improves walking and standing performance in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy.

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Department of Paediatric Neurology and Developmental Medicine, Dr. von Haunersches Children's Hospital, University of Munich, Germany.



Task-specific body-weight-supported treadmill therapy improves walking performance in children with central gait impairment. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of robotic-assisted treadmill therapy on standing and walking performance in children and adolescents with cerebral palsy and to determine parameters influencing outcome.


20 Patients (mean age 11.0 ± 5.1, 10 males and 10 females) with cerebral palsy underwent 12 sessions of robotic-assisted treadmill therapy using the driven gait orthosis Lokomat. Outcome measures were the dimensions D (standing) and E (walking) of the Gross Motor Function Measure (GMFM).


Significant improvements in dimension D by 5.9% (± 5.2, p=0.001) and dimension E by 5.3% (± 5.6, p<0.001) of the GMFM were achieved. Improvements in the GMFM D and E were significantly greater in the mildly affected cohort (GMFCS I and II) compared to the more severely affected cohort (GMFCS III and IV). Improvement of the dimension E but not of D correlated positively with the total distance and time walked during the trial (r(s)=0.748, p<0.001).


Children and adolescents with bilateral spastic cerebral palsy showed improvements in the functional tasks of standing and walking after a 3-week trial of robotic-assisted treadmill therapy. The severity of motor impairment affects the amount of the achieved improvement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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