SCI Patient to Perform World Cup Kickoff June 12

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Today, a paralyzed spinal cord injury (SCI) patient will steer a full-body robotic exoskeleton with his mind to deliver the kickoff of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in the opening match between Brazil vs. Croatia. A news release issued by Hocoma states that the patient has been assisted by therapy with the Lokomat and will enter the field via wheelchair, stand, walk, and perform the kick.

All eight patients selected for the task could walk previously, the release states, however they sustained an injury that ultimately resulted in paralysis. To steer the robotic exoskeleton, the patients trained intensely with the LokomatPro. The LokomatPro is engineered to support the reorganization of the brain, enabling paralyzed patients to recover lost motor functions.

The release reports that the Walk Again Project, a nonprofit, international collaboration led by Miguel Nicolelis, MD, PhD, developed the exoskeleton that will be used in the kickoff. The patient wears a non-invasive headpiece designed to detect brain waves. Messages provided by the brain, such as moving or stopping, allow the patient to control the exoskeleton, which in turn generates movements.

Learn more about the exoskeleton in this University of Kentucky video

The repetitive gait training offered by the LokomatPro is intended to optimize utilization of neuroplasticity and recovery potential. The technology aims to support the reorganization of the brain and relearning of lost motor functions. According to the release, Nicolelis designated the LokomatPro and its virtual environment as a key tool in gait training with patients.

The release adds that the LokomatPro is now available with the new module FreeD and the Challenge package.

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Source(s): Hocoma, University of Kentucky


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