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Thread: Robot helps spinal cord patients remember how to walk

  1. #1

    Robot helps spinal cord patients remember how to walk

    Tuesday, Mar. 17, 2009
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    Robot helps spinal cord patients remember how to walk

    By Sarah Vos -

    Scott Crawford wants to walk again. In September, a pile of wooden pallets fell on Crawford. The accident left him unable to move his legs because of a spinal cord injury.

    Crawford, 51, went from driving a tractor-trailer to negotiating a wheelchair. His arms were also affected by the accident, and he's been relearning to use his body. These days, he can scoot in and out of his wheelchair with the help of a board.

    But he can't sit up on his own. He can't roll over in bed. He can't lift himself up off a surface.

    Twice a week Crawford goes to Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital for physical therapy. He straps into a robot that helps him walk.

    Called the Lokomat, the machine has been at Cardinal Hill for just over a year. It was donated in honor of Dusty Hicks, a Woodford County High School swimming star who injured his spine in an accident. Several months after the machine was donated, Hicks committed suicide.

    Patients travel from as far away as Paducah to walk in the Lokomat.

    The idea behind the machine is that repeating the motion of walking helps the spinal cord remember.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Nov 2008
    orlando, florida
    Thanks for the constant updates on the myriad things going on in terms of helping cure paralysis.

  3. #3
    Computer Learning, Electrical Stimulation Offer Hope For Paralyzed

    Also Included In: Rehabilitation / Physical Therapy; Neurology / Neuroscience; Stroke
    Article Date: 20 Mar 2009 - 3:00 PDT

    Trainers have used it for decades to help athletes build muscle. Late-night TV commercials hawk it as an effortless flab buster.

    But a University of Florida engineering researcher says electrical stimulation - a simple, decades-old technique to prompt muscles to contract - can be combined with sophisticated computer learning technology to help people regain more precise, more life-like control of paralyzed limbs.

    Although his research is still exploring the fundamentals, his progress so far suggests computer-adapted electrical stimulation could one day help the estimated 700,000 Americans who suffer from strokes and the 11,000 who suffer from cord injuries annually.

    "It's an adaptive scheme to do electrical stimulation more efficiently, with less fatigue and more accuracy," said Warren Dixon, an associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, explaining that existing techniques do little more than apply a set current to a designated muscle.

    Stroke victims may be among the first to benefit. Dixon said stroke sufferers who work at regaining the ability to walk often unconsciously drag their toes, causing them to stumble. He said his goal is to develop techniques for a wearable, pacemaker-sized device. The device would deliver just the right stimulation to the calf at just the right moment in a person's gait, lifting the toe just enough to avoid a stumble and walk naturally.

    The device would adapt to individuals, adjusting itself to weight, activity and diet, he said. It might even act as a kind of robotic therapist to the patient, guiding him or her in the proper action while very slowly backing off its own electrical input.


  4. #4
    I would love to know the main advantages of the lokomat over the reo ambulator.
    It seems like the lokomat is more popular...

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by semajh7 View Post
    Thanks for the constant updates on the myriad things going on in terms of helping cure paralysis.

    Hi! Thank you very much, it's my pleasure to do this. I am so happy that I have found this site with so many nice and smart people, I am learning so much here. I am very hopefull we will walk again I feel it. How can we not recover when we have Dr. Young working to cure us. He is the best. Hope to talk to you soon, xxx000, manouli.

  6. #6
    Do you think it's efficient for someone with complete SCI .

  7. #7
    No used it every day for months among many other things, if you are truly complete no amount of rehabilitation or physiotherapy will bring any kind of recovery sorry ma. Any complete who has recovered from "willpower" or rehabilitation was simply misdiagnosed and became an incomplete when the inflammation wOrr off some people it takes months others it takes years I know a guy who learned how to walk three years after his injury with rehabilitation, he told me straight up that his spinal inflammation just finally wore off. At least that's what him and his doctor think. I've spent tens thousands of dollars take a word of the device if it's two years after your injury and you can't feel your anus physiotherapy will not help you recover so don't get your hopes up. You need at least some kind of regenerative treatment or Stimulant. But that doesn't mean the loc stimulant. But that doesn't mean the lokomat doesn't have many benefits, and I think if you can afford it you should be in it every day keep things moving and alive as much as possible well you wait for something better.

    That's upsetting about the athlete, but I understand his decision I read a study along time ago that athletes, the rich, the attractive,intelligent have the hardest time coping after devastating injury, more likely to lead to suicide

  8. #8
    Senior Member NW-Will's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
    Vancouver WA USA - - Male T4 ASIA B incomplete
    Agree with JamesMCM. I've used the Lokomat, and am currently using an exoskeleton(ReWalk) at PT. Just for PT and exercise purposes, I'd go with the rewalk over the lokomat.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by NW-Will View Post
    Agree with JamesMCM. I've used the Lokomat, and am currently using an exoskeleton(ReWalk) at PT. Just for PT and exercise purposes, I'd go with the rewalk over the lokomat.
    If you are a low quadriplegic or a Paraplegic of course, lokomat works for higher injuries

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