Eduardo Rocon de Lima, PhD
Center For Automation and Robotics
Cerebral Palsy (CP) could be defined as a disorder that appears in infancy and permanently affect posture and body movement but does not worsen over time. CP is often associated with sensory deficits, cognitive impairments, communication and motor disabilities, behaviour issues, seizure disorder, pain and secondary musculoskeletal problems. Traditionally, robotic strategies have been focused on the Pe- ripheral Nervous System (PNS) supporting patients to perform repetitive movements (a ‘‘Bottom-Up approach’’). However, CP primarily affects brain structures, and thus suggests that both PNS and Central Nervous System (CNS) should be integrated into a physical and cognitive rehabilitation therapy. Current studies manifest that such integration of the CNS into the human–robot loop maximizes the therapeutic effects, especially in children. During this talk I will present and discuss a robot-based training program for gait rehabilitation of pediatric population with Cerebral Palsy. The robotic-based therapies were implement in the CPWalker device and recreates a situation as similar as possible to a real gait scenario, encouraging the patients to control different movements associated with gait: not only individual movements of lower limb joints but also the synergy between them while maintaining a proper posture of the upper body. We hypothesize that this interaction between the human and the machine, performed following an appropriate progression of the variables, boosted the rehabilitation of our patients.
The role of neurorehabilitation for pediatric population with Cerebral Palsy