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The role of robotic gait training coupled with virtual reality in boosting the rehabilitative outcomes in patients with multiple sclerosis

Motor impairment is the most common symptom in multiple sclerosis (MS). Thus, a
variety of new rehabilitative strategies, including robotic gait training, have
been implemented, showing their effectiveness.
The aim of our study was to
investigate whether an intensive robotic gait training, preceding a traditional
rehabilitative treatment, could be useful in improving and potentiating motor
performance in MS patients. Forty-five patients, who fulfilled the inclusion
criteria, were enrolled in this study and randomized into either the control
group (CG) or the experimental group (EG). A complete clinical evaluation,
including the Expanded Disability Severity Scale, the Functional Independence
Measure, the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the time up and go test (TUG),
and the Tinetti balance scale, was performed at baseline (T0), after 6 week (T1),
at the end of rehabilitative training (T2), and 1 month later (T3). A significant
improvement was observed in the EG for all the outcome measures, whereas the CG
showed an improvement only in TUG. In contrast, from T1 to T2, only CG
significantly improved in all outcomes, whereas the EG had an improvement only
regarding TUG. From T2 to T3, no significant differences in Functional
Independence Measure scores emerged for both the groups,
but a significant
worsening in Tinetti balance scale and TUG was observed for the CG and in TUG for
the EG. Our study provides evidence that robotic rehabilitationn coupled with
two-dimensional virtual reality may be a valuable tool in promoting functional
recovery in patients with MS.

Langue : ANGLAIS

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