High-Tech Yet Simple Device "Rewires" Brain, Improves and Restores Balance, Normal Walking
Haifa, Israel (PRWEB) May 17, 2009 -- From now on, "virtual reality" has a whole new meaning for people with Cerebral Palsy who want to improve their balance and walk normally again.
The GaitAid Virtual Walker, a nonprescription virtual-reality device, represents a significant advance for Cerebral Palsy patients. Developed by MIT-educated Computer Science Professor Yoram Baram, PhD, it consists of a cell-phone-size, lightweight control unit and a set of comfortable high-tech goggles that provide sensory feedback of visual images and sounds in response to the patient's movements.
Worn for practice-walking just 20-30 minutes a day, GaitAid improves walking (sometimes from the first step) and "rewires" the wearer's brain to follow a healthier walking pattern--an effect that often continues even when it isn't being worn.
Yoram Baram, a computer science professor and incumbent of the Roy Matas / Winnipeg Chair in Biomedical Engineering at the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, developed the GaitAid Virtual Walker in collaboration with several neurologists specializing in treating Cerebral Palsy and other movement disorders.
In clinical studies (see http://www.medigait.com/studies.html) with children and young adults with CP, 80% of patients experienced an improvement in stride length and walking speed after only ten minutes of walking with the GaitAid. Participants reported an improved feeling of balance and confidence in walking.
Origin of the GaitAid Virtual Walker:
The idea for the GaitAid project was sparked 12 years ago while Professor Baram was designing a mechanism for NASA to navigate low-flying helicopters around obstacles. The concept of the design, which Baram later applied to the GaitAid Virtual Walker, is that the optical images of objects help the observer navigate, stabilize, and pace movement in space.
For more information on the GaitAid Virtual Walker, contact:
or by phone 888-777-9906.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/cerebralpalsy/gaitaid/prweb2421054.htm.
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