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      Does robot-assisted gait training ameliorate gait abnormalities in multiple sclerosis? A pilot randomized-control trial.

      Adult, Aged, Biomechanical Phenomena, Disability Evaluation, Exercise Test, Exercise Therapy, instrumentation, Female, Follow-Up Studies, Gait, physiology, Gait Disorders, Neurologic, etiology, rehabilitation, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Multiple Sclerosis, complications, Physical Therapy Modalities, Pilot Projects, Robotics, Treatment Outcome, Walking

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          Gait disorders are common in multiple sclerosis (MS) and lead to a progressive reduction of function and quality of life. Test the effects of robot-assisted gait rehabilitation in MS subjects through a pilot randomized-controlled study. We enrolled MS subjects with Expanded Disability Status Scale scores within 4.5-6.5. The experimental group received 12 robot-assisted gait training sessions over 6 weeks. The control group received the same amount of conventional physiotherapy. Outcomes measures were both biomechanical assessment of gait, including kinematics and spatio-temporal parameters, and clinical test of walking endurance (six-minute walk test) and mobility (Up and Go Test). 16 subjects (n = 8 experimental group, n = 8 control group) were included in the final analysis. At baseline the two groups were similar in all variables, except for step length. Data showed walking endurance, as well as spatio-temporal gait parameters improvements after robot-assisted gait training. Pelvic antiversion and reduced hip extension during terminal stance ameliorated after aforementioned intervention. Robot-assisted gait training seems to be effective in increasing walking competency in MS subjects. Moreover, it could be helpful in restoring the kinematic of the hip and pelvis.

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