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Baltimore Highlands, MD, United States

Khanna I.,University of Maryland, Baltimore | Khanna I.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Khanna I.,Research Rehabilitation and Development | Roy A.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | And 10 more authors.
Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation | Year: 2010

Background. Hemiparesis after stroke often leads to impaired ankle motor control that impacts gait function. In recent studies, robotic devices have been developed to address this impairment. While capable of imparting forces to assist during training and gait, these devices add mass to the paretic leg which might encumber patients' gait pattern. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of the added mass of one of these robots, the MIT's Anklebot, while unpowered, on gait of chronic stroke survivors during overground and treadmill walking. Methods. Nine chronic stroke survivors walked overground and on a treadmill with and without the anklebot mounted on the paretic leg. Gait parameters, interlimb symmetry, and joint kinematics were collected for the four conditions. Repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were conducted to examine for possible differences across four conditions for the paretic and nonparetic leg. Results. The added inertia and friction of the unpowered anklebot had no statistically significant effect on spatio-temporal parameters of gait, including paretic and nonparetic step time and stance percentage, in both overground and treadmill conditions. Noteworthy, interlimb symmetry as characterized by relative stance duration was greater on the treadmill than overground regardless of loading conditions. The presence of the unpowered robot loading reduced the nonparetic knee peak flexion on the treadmill and paretic peak dorsiflexion overground (p < 0.05). Conclusions. Our results suggest that for these subjects the added inertia and friction of this backdriveable robot did not significantly alter their gait pattern. © 2010 Khanna et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

Roy A.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Roy A.,University of Maryland Baltimore County | Roy A.,Research Rehabilitation and Development | Krebs H.I.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Neurophysiology | Year: 2011

Our Objective in this study was to assess passive mechanical stiffness in the ankle of chronic hemiparetic stroke survivors and to compare it with those of healthy young and older (age-matched) individuals. Given the importance of the ankle during locomotion, an accurate estimate of passive ankle stiffness would be valuable for locomotor rehabilitation, potentially providing a measure of recovery and a quantitative basis to design treatment protocols. Using a novel ankle robot, we characterized passive ankle stiffness both in sagittal and in frontal planes by applying perturbations to the ankle joint over the entire range of motion with subjects in a relaxed state. We found that passive stiffness of the affected ankle joint was significantly higher in chronic stroke survivors than in healthy adults of a similar cohort, both in the sagittal as well as frontal plane of movement, in three out of four directions tested with indistinguishable stiffness values in plantarflexion direction. Our findings are comparable to the literature, thus indicating its plausibility, and, to our knowledge, report for the first time passive stiffness in the frontal plane for persons with chronic stroke and older healthy adults. © 2011 the American Physiological Society. Source

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