Transcending the barriers to recovery for patients with a cerebrovascular disease with Robotic-assisted gait training to restore patients’ quality of life. 

Ischemic Stroke can be commonly found among Thais. The disease divides into two types, thrombotic stroke which is caused by the buildup of fats and cholesterol in the arteries that leads to a narrowing or clotting of the arteries and eventually decreases blood flow. An embolic stroke occurs when the blood clot breaks off from any part of the body and travels to the brain and blocks an artery. It can also cause by the enlargement of the blood clot that leads to a complete blockage of the brain artery. Whereas, cerebral aneurysm develops from a weak blood vessel paired with high blood pressure, causes a bulge in the arterial wall that ends up in a rupture in time or there is also a possibility it can be caused by deposits of fats found in the arteries that leads to a burst of blood vessels. 

Dr. Pheeravut Tantisuvanitchkul, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Vejthani Hospital, explains that cerebrovascular disease causes patients to have an interruption of blood flow to the brain and leads to a loss of neurological function. For instance, numbness or weakness of legs and arms on one side of the body or face, slurred speech, facial droop, dysphagia or trouble swallowing, abrupt headache or dizziness, blurred vision, partial or complete loss of vision, sudden blindness in one eye and loss of balance are some of the symptoms found in stroke patients. If any abnormality arises, patients must seek immediate medical attention because stroke is a severe and life-threatening disease that may lead to paresis, paralysis, or loss of mobility. 

“Many stroke patients who have overcome a critical time but are still paralyzed, need a complete restoration for the first 3-6 months. This is considered as the Golden period that will allow the patients to get back to their normal life. Thus, it is crucial for cerebrovascular disease patients to receive accurate, proper, and timely recovery. This will enable them to return to their life as normal as possible in terms of both of physical and mental wellbeing”, said Dr. Pheeravut. 

Advanced Rehabilitation Center at Vejthani Hospital has introduced a technology that uses robotic-assisted gait training with patients who suffer from the cerebrovascular disease to enhance the effectiveness of the physical therapy and rehabilitation.

The equipment consists of Lokomat, a robotic-assisted gait training device, designed to restore patients with balance and walking disorders from cerebrovascular disease. The robot provides joint support around the knees and hip that imitate natural body parts. For patients to be entertained, a variety of game training is also included. This will allow them to notice the progress they are making during the training and encourage them to continue with the rehabilitation program. 

C-Mill functional gait and balance training machine is a robot that helps to restore impaired gait in a realistic virtual environment, such as walking in various places and avoiding obstacles to prepare the patients for real situations. The machine also facilitates balance and gait recovery and fixes walking speed by training with a virtual reality-based game in simulated environments that are suitable for each patient. This prevents boredom, reduces pressure and stress during training. In addition, it motivates them to continue with the program to reach their goals. The technique boosts their visuospatial ability, activities that require task-specific skills, improves attention span for complex tasks and executive function which is a decision-making skill for work management

KEEOGO is a smart powered orthosis walking assistance device that allows patients to walk with confidence and reach a farther distance. Enables them to move independently by overcoming limitations in everyday life from balance disorder and muscle weakness or pain. The patients will be able to walk for a longer period and distance. The machine also assists in walking up and down the stairs, walking on uneven grounds, squatting as well as getting up from the floor with ease. 

The rehabilitation programs are designed by specialists and customized for each patient to suit their different needs. Essentially, the rehabilitation programs are adjusted to fit the development of the patient’s clinical condition during the training, which leads to satisfying treatment results and a good quality of life that potentially helps them to return to life as normal as possible.

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