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How does the Lokomat help a person with a spinal cord injury re-learn to walk?

How does the Lokomat help a person with a spinal cord injury re-learn to walk?

T. George Hornby, PhD, PT

Research Scientist, Sensory Motor Performance Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Read Bio More Videos by T. George Hornby
Transcript
So, the Lokomat is going to attach to the person's legs and facilitate this kind of walking pattern. And there's data in animals with spinal cord injury, where you experimentally give the animals a spinal cord injury, and you put them on a tr... Show More

So, the Lokomat is going to attach to the person's legs and facilitate this kind of walking pattern. And there's data in animals with spinal cord injury, where you experimentally give the animals a spinal cord injury, and you put them on a treadmill. And, even without a pathway from the brain to the spinal cord, these animals can actually re-learn to step when they're on the treadmill. And that is because they have inputs from the spinal cord to the muscles and back. And those pathways that are intact below the injury can actually facilitate stepping, again without brain input. Humans can do that as well. We have this center in our spinal cord that can trigger these walking behaviors. So if we can retrain our spinal cord to actually learn to walk, and we have a little bit of connection, we might be able to strengthen the connectivity between the brain and the spinal cord, and enhance the ability to step.

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How does the Lokomat help a person with a spinal cord injury re-learn to walk?

T. George Hornby, PhD, PT

Research Scientist, Sensory Motor Performance Program, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

More Videos by T. George Hornby
Transcriptadd

So, the Lokomat is going to attach to the person's legs and facilitate this kind of walking pattern. And there's data in animals with spinal cord injury, where you experimentally give the animals a spinal cord injury, and you put them on a treadmill. And, even without a pathway from the brain to the spinal cord, these animals can actually re-learn to step when they're on the treadmill. And that is because they have inputs from the spinal cord to the muscles and back. And those pathways that are intact below the injury can actually facilitate stepping, again without brain input. Humans can do that as well. We have this center in our spinal cord that can trigger these walking behaviors. So if we can retrain our spinal cord to actually learn to walk, and we have a little bit of connection, we might be able to strengthen the connectivity between the brain and the spinal cord, and enhance the ability to step.

How does the Lokomat help a person with a spinal cord injury re-learn to walk?
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