Exosuit Shows Promise for Stroke Rehabilitationadmin
“A study published in the Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation has reported positive results from a trial of robotic exosuit-aided rehabilitation of stroke patients,” IFLScience.com reports. Developed by ReWalk Robotics Ltd, the ReStore exosuit is the first time an exosuit has been cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for stroke rehabilitation.
This suit was designed to help those with difficulty walking due to severe ankle weakness after suffering a stroke by constantly monitoring foot and ankle movement and assisting in keeping a natural gait.
The trial enrolled 44 participants with post-stroke hemiparesis who was able to walk unassisted for 5 feet. Under the supervision of licensed physical therapists, they participated in 5 days of 20-minute sessions of the treadmill and overground training. The researchers also explored the effects of the device on maximum walking speed.
“We found that the ReStore provided targeted assistance for plantar flexion and dorsiflexion of the paretic ankle, improving the gait pattern,” Dr. Karen Nolan, senior research scientists at the Center for Mobility and Rehabilitation Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation in a statement. “This is an important first step toward expanding options for rehabilitative care for the millions of individuals with mobility impairments caused by ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.”
While this is an early, relatively small trial, more than one-third of participants achieved a significant increase in unassisted walking speed, indicating further research is warranted.