WEST ORANGE, N.J. Rakesh Pilkar, Ph.D., a post-doctoral fellow in Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, was awarded a R03, $153,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to study the response levels to function electrical stimulation (FES) interventions in the rehabilitation of stroke patientstitled, "Identification of Responders to the FES Interventions in Stroke Populations" (grant # 1R03NS082950-01).
"This study will improve our knowledge of FES intervention and help clinicians strategize rehabilitation interventions more effectively based on the responders' gait characteristics," said Dr. Pilkar. "Receiving this grant during my postdoctoral training provides me the valuable foundation and the opportunity to establish myself as an independent researcher in the field of neurorehabilitation."
FES is a rehabilitation technique that uses electrical currents to stimulate muscles in paralyzed or weakened extremities, with the goal of restoring function. This study will analyze the walking patterns of individuals with hemiplegic gait, characterized by weakness on the affected side, with full leg flexion and rotation in a semi-circle to accommodate for foot drop in the weakened leg. Using the 3D Motion Capture System and Electromyogram (EMG) System, Dr. Pilkar will assess the response level to FES interventions and look for the association of the responders' gait characteristics, including symmetry, while determining proper intervention parameters. The effectiveness of FES in treatment will be measured, and researchers will be able to strategize rehabilitation techniques based on the study's results.
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