A new virtual reality device, the GaitAid, can help Stroke patients learn to walk correctly again, says a study to be published in the Journal of Geriatrics Association.
(PRWEB) November 18, 2009 -- A new virtual reality device, the GaitAid, can help stroke patients learn to walk correctly again, reports a study to be published in the Journal of Geriatrics Association.
There are 6.5 million American Stroke survivors and 750,00 Americans who suffer a stroke each year. It is the leading cause of adult disability in the U.S. and Europe.
Gait impairment is common after Stroke with 60% of survivors living with a walking-related disability. Walking incorrectly not only creates a stigma for these patients, but it also makes them more susceptible to injury and directly affects their quality of life.
For normal walking, the brain relies on:
- Proper sense of timing in performing actions,
- A clear sense of direction of the targeted movement
- Internal sensory feedback telling the brain that the body is moving
- External sensory feedback to movement through vision and hearing
- Perception of space
By processing this information, the brain performs the needed adjustments of the body.
When a Stroke diminishes these mechanisms functions on one or both sides of the body, walking becomes difficult and inefficient, leaving patients a little less "in touch" with themselves, where they stand, and where their body parts are located in relation to each other through the walking cycle.
The GaitAid, a portable home-use device, provides an alternative means to balancing and controlling the walking body. It includes special glasses and headphones which display an image super-imposed on the real envir
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