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Eur J Phys Rehabil Med. 2012 Mar;48(1):111-21.

Use of the robot assisted gait therapy in rehabilitation of patients with stroke and spinal cord injury.

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Department of NeuroRehabilitation, IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana, Rome, Italy.


Difficulty in walking is a major feature of neurological disease, and loss of mobility is the activity of daily living on which patients place the greatest value. The impact on patients is enormous, with negative ramifications on their participation in social, vocational, and recreational activities. In current clinical practice the gait restoration with robotic device is an integral part of rehabilitation program. Robot therapy involves the use of a robot exoskeleton device or end-effector device to help the patient retrain motor coordination by performing well-focused and carefully directed repetitive practice. The exoskeleton, as an assistive device, is also an external structural mechanism with joints and links corresponding to those of the human body. These robots use joint trajectories of the entire gait cycle and offer a uniform (more or less) stiff control along this trajectory. In this field the new powered exoskeleton ReWalk (Argo Medical Technologies Ltd) was developed to have an alternative mobility solution to the wheelchair and rehabilitation treatment for individuals with severe walking impairments, enabling them to stand, walk, ascend/descent stairs and more. The end-effector-based robot is a device with footplates placed on a double crank and rocker gear system. Alternatives to powered exoskeletons are devices that use movable footplates to which the patient's feet are attached. All devices include some form of body weight support. Prominent goals in the field include: developing implementable technologies that can be easily used by patients, therapists, and clinicians; enhancing the efficacy of clinician's therapies and increasing the ease of activities in the daily lives of patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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