JUN 05, 2021 5:00 PM PDT

Robotic Exoskeleton May Improve Response to Exercise-based Rehabilitation in People With Severe MS

WRITTEN BY: Ryan Vingum

Robots are most often found in science fiction. Recently, however, researchers are using robot-like technology to help people with severe disability caused by multiple sclerosis (MS), a condition estimated to affect nearly 3 million people worldwide.

According to a recent study published in Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, researchers at the Kessler Institute have completed a proof-of-concept study examining the efficacy of an exercise program using robotic exoskeleton technology, called robotic-exoskeleton assisted exercise rehabilitation (REAER), which could be used to improve the quality of life of individuals with severe MS. 

Standard rehabilitation treatment for people with MS involves a range of exercise training, including walking. Evidence suggests that these approaches can help manage MS symptoms, particularly for those who experience mobility and cognition issues. 

“Exercise is really powerful behavior that involves many brain regions and networks that can improve over time and result in improved function,” noted Dr. Sandroff, a senior research scientist at the Kessler Foundation.

The study conducted by Kessler Foundation researchers attempts to enhance understanding about the efficacy of rehabilitation efforts for people with severe MS, as current rehabilitative approaches are often ineffective for this patient population or lack evidence proving their effectiveness.

The study, which enrolled 10 participants with severe MS, compared the use of traditional walk-based rehabilitation treatment with the REAER program on symptom management over 4 weeks. Specifically, researchers looked at things like how far participants could walk and a participant’s cognitive processing abilities.

Findings, while preliminary, showed favorable results for the use of REAER. Over the four weeks, participants showed significant improvements in cognitive processing, mobility, and connectivity between areas of the brain, such as the thalamus and ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

"This [research] is particularly exciting because therapy using robotic exoskeletons shows such promise for improving the lives of people with co-occurring mobility and cognitive disability, a cohort that likely has the greatest potential to benefit from this new technology," said Dr. Androwis, the study's lead author.

Source: Eureka Alert

About the Author
  • Writer and teacher with a background in professional writing and communication. Experience in higher education and writing for patient education and recruitment in the clinical research industry.
You May Also Like
MAR 23, 2021
Technology
Has COVD-19 Made Us Nicer To Machines?
MAR 23, 2021
Has COVD-19 Made Us Nicer To Machines?
Has COVID-19 made us nicer to machines? Research shows that individuals affected by the COVID-19 pandemic have shown mor ...
MAY 06, 2021
Technology
New Neural Implant Can Help Study Multiple Areas of the Brain at Once
MAY 06, 2021
New Neural Implant Can Help Study Multiple Areas of the Brain at Once
We’re probably all familiar with seeing images of the brain with different areas labeled: the frontal lobe, occipi ...
MAY 31, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
Researchers Create the First Saliva Wiki
MAY 31, 2021
Researchers Create the First Saliva Wiki
A new digital platform, developed by researchers at the University at Buffalo, is answering the question: what’s o ...
JUN 16, 2021
Technology
Online App Increases Health Literacy and Reduces Vaccine Hesitancy in Incarcerated Women
JUN 16, 2021
Online App Increases Health Literacy and Reduces Vaccine Hesitancy in Incarcerated Women
Many women released from prison are returning to communities hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, communities that also fa ...
JUN 16, 2021
Space & Astronomy
Mapping the Boundaries of the Heliosphere
JUN 16, 2021
Mapping the Boundaries of the Heliosphere
Earth and the planets in the solar system sit within the heliosphere, a giant bubble formed by the charged particles, li ...
JUL 15, 2021
Technology
Raman Spectroscopy Helps Track IBD Patient Response to Treatment
JUL 15, 2021
Raman Spectroscopy Helps Track IBD Patient Response to Treatment
While there have been multiple methods of evaluating whether a patient with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is respondi ...
Loading Comments...