Medical Robotics

Robotic Therapy for Cerebral Palsy at MIT

Posted 20 May 2009 at 15:41 UTC by steve Share This

An MIT news release describes the latest MIT developments in robotic therapy for cerebral palsy. According to the release, "The [US] Department of Veterans Affairs has just completed a large-scale, randomized, multi-site clinical study with these devices." The basic idea is to fit the patient with an exoskeleton-like robotic device, which assists them in learning how to make specific motions, such as grasping objects or walking. Correct movements are assisted and incorrect movements are ignored or corrected by system. Repetitively making the correction motions helps the brain rebuild neural pathways needed to make the same motion autonomously. The researchers believe robotic therapy can also assist victims of multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and spinal cord injury. The video above provides an overview of the research. For more information visit MIT's verbosely named Eric P. and Evelyn E. Newman Laboratory for Biomechanics and Human Rehabilitation.

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