Robotic step training and noninvasive spinal stimulation enable patient to take thousands of steps
A 39-year-old man who had been completely paralyzed for four years was able to voluntarily control his leg muscles and take thousands of steps in a “robotic exoskeleton” device during five days of training — and for two weeks afterward — a team of UCLA scientists reports this week.
This is the first time that a person with chronic, complete paralysis has regained enough voluntary control to actively work with a robotic device designed to enhance mobility.
In addition to the robotic device, the man was aided by a novel noninvasive spinal stimulation technique that does not require surgery. His leg movements also resulted in other health benefits, including improved cardiovascular function and muscle tone.
The new approach combines a battery-powered wearable bionic suit that enables people to move their legs in a step-like fashion, with a noninvasive procedure that the same researchers had previously used to enable five men who had been completely paralyzed to move their legs in a rhythmic motion. That earlier achievement is believed to be the first time people who are completely paralyzed have been able to relearn voluntary leg movements without surgery. (The researchers do not describe the achievement as “walking” because no one who is completely paralyzed has independently walked in the absence of the robotic device and electrical stimulation of the spinal cord.)
In the latest study, the researchers treated Mark Pollock, who lost his sight in 1998 and later became the first blind man to race to the South Pole. In 2010, Pollock fell from a second-story window and suffered a spinal cord injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
At UCLA, Pollock made substantial progress after receiving a few weeks of physical training without spinal stimulation and then just five days of spinal stimulation training in a one-week span, for about an hour a day.
“In the last few weeks of the trial, my heart rate hit 138 beats per minute,” Pollock said. “This is an aerobic training zone, a rate I haven’t even come close to since being paralyzed while walking in the robot alone, without these interventions. That was a very exciting, emotional moment for me, having spent my whole adult life before breaking my back as an athlete.”
Even in the years since he lost his sight, Pollock has competed in ultra-endurance races across deserts, mountains and the polar ice caps. He also won silver and bronze medals in rowing at the Commonwealth Games and launched a motivational speaking business.
“Stepping with the stimulation and having my heart rate increase, along with the awareness of my legs under me, was addictive. I wanted more,” he said.
The Latest on: Robotic exoskeleton
via Google News
The Latest on: Robotic exoskeleton
- Exoskeleton Could Give Delta Cargo Workers Superhuman Strengthon January 17, 2020 at 5:25 am
The beetle is extremely powerful for its size, and well protected, thanks to a rigid outer shell. Delta Air Lines wants to transfer those features to employees in jobs that require heavy lifting, such ...
- Marathon Record Shattered at Charleston Marathon by Man in Exoskeletonon January 15, 2020 at 6:40 pm
The 33-year-old completed the race in 33 hours, 16 minutes, and 28 seconds. While battling against pain in his wrists and legs and pushing the limits on the motors on his ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton, ...
- Paralyzed Man Runs Marathon In Robotic Exoskeletonon January 15, 2020 at 11:54 am
On Saturday, a man named Adam Gorlitsky broke the world record time for completing a marathon while wearing an assistive robotic exoskeleton. Though he hasn’t yet submitted his results to Guinness, ...
- A paralyzed man just broke a marathon world record with a robotic exoskeletonon January 14, 2020 at 11:41 am
Completing a marathon is an amazing achievement for anyone. Completing one wearing a robot exoskeleton, after suffering a spinal cord injury that left the wearer paralyzed from the waist down, is ...
- Robotic exoskeleton helps woman with MS walkon January 13, 2020 at 2:13 pm
A trial is underway to see if a robotic exoskeleton can retrain the brains of multiple sclerosis patients to help them walk better. It's a preliminary study with just 5 patients, but could set the ...
- Robotic exoskeleton helps woman with multiple sclerosis walkon January 13, 2020 at 9:48 am
Kathy Miska, 56, of Strongsville, Ohio is fighting multiple sclerosis one step at a time. Multiple sclerosis, or MS, disrupts signals from the brain and often robs people of their mobility. Miska is ...
- Wearable Robotic Exoskeleton Market - Global Industry Analysis 2012-2016 and Opportunity Assessment; 2020-2026on January 12, 2020 at 9:02 pm
The detailed study on the Wearable Robotic Exoskeleton Market includes essential insights for investors who are looking to improve their position in the existing and future market scenario. The study ...
- Exoskeleton debuted by Delta and Sarcos Robotics makes lifting an airplane tire feel like 20 POUNDSon January 8, 2020 at 8:44 pm
In a demonstration of the all-electric suit at CES in Las Vegas - the first ever public demo of the device - Delta and its partner Sarcos Robotics showed off the exoskeleton's capabilities. The ...
- Here's How Wearable Robotic Exoskeleton Market Keep Key Segments Growth Rollingon January 7, 2020 at 10:14 pm
An extensive analysis of the Global Wearable Robotic Exoskeleton market strategy of the leading companies in the precision of import/export consumption, supply and demand figures, cost, price, revenue ...
- Meet the company that showed off a robot exoskeleton for humans today at CESon January 7, 2020 at 4:03 pm
futuristic-looking full-body robot exoskeletons to augment the work of humans. The idea being that the exoskeletons would allow their users to do more while also saving lives and preventing injuries ...
via Bing News