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Gait rehabilitation with a high tech platform based on virtual reality conveys improvements in walking ability of children suffering from acquired brain injury.

Research paper by E E Biffi, E E Beretta, E E Diella, D D Panzeri, C C Maghini, A C AC Turconi, S S Strazzer, G G Reni

Indexed on: 07 Jan '16Published on: 07 Jan '16Published in: Conference proceedings : ... Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Annual Conference



Abstract

The Gait Real-time Analysis Interactive Lab (GRAIL) is an instrumented multi-sensor platform based on immersive virtual reality for gait training and rehabilitation. Few studies have been included GRAIL to evaluate gait patterns in normal and disabled people and to improve gait in adults, while at our knowledge no evidence on its use for the rehabilitation of children is available. In this study, 4 children suffering from acquired brain injury (ABI) underwent a 5 session treatment with GRAIL, to improve walking and balance ability in engaging VR environments. The first and the last sessions were partially dedicated to gait evaluation. Results are promising: improvements were recorded at the ankle level, selectively at the affected side, and at the pelvic level, while small changes were measured at the hip and knee joints, which were already comparable to healthy subjects. All these changes also conveyed advances in the symmetry of the walking pattern. In the next future, a longer intervention will be proposed and more children will be enrolled to strongly prove the effectiveness of GRAIL in the rehabilitation of children with ABI.