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Walking training with partial body weight support in children with cerebral palsy

Grant number: 13/21215-5
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2014
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal researcher:Ana Maria Forti Barela
Grantee:Fernando da Silva Olimpio
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde. Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul (UNICSUL). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Partial body weight support (PBWS) systems provide body weight bearing on lower limbs and, consequently, reduce the load and facilitate the deambulation capacity. These systems have been used more frequently on movable surfaces (treadmills) and patients with locomotor disorders had shown improvements on walking performance. However, the use of PBWS on movable surfaces does not reflect walking in daily living conditions, as for example, the propulsive forces needed for walking on static surfaces (overground). Recently, a PBWS system was developed to be used overground, and the results from interventions on individuals with stroke indicated that this system is effective for them. In this project, two groups of children with CP will be submitted to one specific form of training: walking with PBWS on static surface or walking with PBWS on dynamic surface, in order to verify the implications of both training strategies. All children will be evaluated before and after gait training sessions using kinematic analyses of walking. The analyses will include spatial-temporal measures, pelvis and hip, knee and ankle joint angles. In this way, children will be evaluated walking on a walkway with reflective markers fixed on specific body landmarks that will define body segments in consideration. Both groups will be submitted to three training sessions per week of approximately 45 minutes each, during six weeks, totalizing 18 training sessions.

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