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Sale P.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana | De Pandis M.F.,Tosinvest Sanita SpA | Domenica L.P.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana | Sova I.,IRCCS San Raffaele Pisana | And 7 more authors.
BMC Neurology | Year: 2013

Background: Over the last years, the introduction of robotic technologies into Parkinson's disease rehabilitation settings has progressed from concept to reality. However, the benefit of robotic training remains elusive. This pilot randomized controlled observer trial is aimed at investigating the feasibility, the effectiveness and the efficacy of new end-effector robot training in people with mild Parkinson's disease. Methods: Design. Pilot randomized controlled trial. Setting. Robot assisted gait training (EG) compared to treadmill training (CG). Participants. Twenty cognitively intact participants with mild Parkinson's disease and gait disturbance. Interventions. The EG underwent a rehabilitation programme of robot assisted walking for 40 minutes, 5 times a week for 4 weeks. The CG received a treadmill training programme for 40 minutes, 5 times a week for 4 weeks. Main outcome measures. The outcome measure of efficacy was recorded by gait analysis laboratory. The assessments were performed at the beginning (T0) and at the end of the treatment (T1). The main outcome was the change in velocity. The feasibility of the intervention was assessed by recording exercise adherence and acceptability by specific test. Results: Robot training was feasible, acceptable, safe, and the participants completed 100% of the prescribed training sessions. A statistically significant improvement in gait index was found in favour of the EG (T0 versus T1). In particular, the statistical analysis of primary outcome (gait speed) using the Friedman test showed statistically significant improvements for the EG (p = 0,0195). The statistical analysis performed by Friedman test of Step length left (p = 0,0195) and right (p = 0,0195) and Stride length left (p = 0,0078) and right (p = 0,0195) showed a significant statistical gain. No statistically significant improvements on the CG were found. Conclusions: Robot training is a feasible and safe form of rehabilitative exercise for cognitively intact people with mild PD. This original approach can contribute to increase a short time lower limb motor recovery in idiopathic PD patients. The focus on the gait recovery is a further characteristic that makes this research relevant to clinical practice. On the whole, the simplicity of treatment, the lack of side effects, and the positive results from patients support the recommendation to extend the use of this treatment. Further investigation regarding the long-time effectiveness of robot training is warranted. Trial registration: NCT01668407. © 2013 Sale et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Galli M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Galli M.,Tosinvest Sanita SpA | Cimolin V.,Polytechnic of Milan | Vimercati S.,Polytechnic of Milan | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Biomaterials and Functional Materials | Year: 2014

Purpose: In the last few years the use of patellar tendon shortening procedure appears to give good results for the treatment of crouch gait in Cerebral Palsy (CP) patients. It offers a secondary approach in cases where conventional hamstrings lengthening failed. The evidence for the effectiveness of knee extensor shortening is poor and only one study quantitatively assessed the effects of this technique performed in addition to other procedures in CP patients. In this case study we used Gait Analysis (GA) to quantify the effects of patellar tendon shortening for the management of crouch gait persisting after hamstring lengthening. Methods: Crouch persisted seven years after a first multilevel procedure including hamstring lengthening in a 15-year old male. Gait was assessed over time (before and from six to 18 months after knee extensor shortening) with Gait Analysis (GA). Results: Before treatment the patient walked slowly and with a high duration stance phase; sagittal kinematics revealed excessive hip and knee flexion and ankle dorsiflexion during the whole gait cycle. After surgery, data showed progressive significant improvements at all lower limb levels during the follow-ups considered; gait became more physiologic and lower limb joint kinematics improved overall. Conclusions: The results demonstrated that addressing the other side and shortening the antagonists may be a valuable option to treat crouch gait in patients with CP especially if this persists after hamstring and knee extension surgery. © 2012 Società Italiana Biomateriali.

Cimolin V.,Polytechnic of Milan | Cimolin V.,Instituto Auxologico Italiano | Galli M.,Polytechnic of Milan | Galli M.,Tosinvest Sanita SPA | And 7 more authors.
Computer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering | Year: 2014

The suitability of new dynamic system analysis was investigated to compare postural control in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and Down syndrome (DS) patients. Time-domain, frequency-domain parameters and fractal dimension (FD) of centre of pressure (CoP) were computed in maintaining normal standing on a force platform in 20 DS and 13 PWS patients, compared to 26 obese (obese control group, OCG) and 20 healthy individuals (healthy control group, HCG). DS and PWS showed greater displacements along both directions and longer sway path (SP) parameter than HCG and OCG, with statistical differences between PWS and DS for anteroposterior displacement and SP. DS used higher frequency strategy when compared to PWS, OCG and HCG. Both DS and PWS were characterised by greater values of FD than OCG and HCG, with higher values in DS. The analyses in frequency domain and of the dynamic nature of CoP suggest that DS patients are characterised by a more complex and irregular signal than PWS patients. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.

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