A Novel Mechanics-based Intervention to Improve Post-stroke Stability

Recruiting

Phase Early 1 Results N/A

Trial Description

The purpose of this study is to determine whether a novel treadmill training intervention can improve the gait stabilization strategy used by individuals who have experienced a stroke.

Detailed Description

Every year, approximately 15,000 American Veterans experience a stroke, with an estimated cost of acute and follow-up care in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Following a stroke, the restoration or improvement of walking is a high-ranking goal among patients, but only about half of the population is able to return to typical levels of community ambulation. The resultant decrease in independent mobility is strongly associated with a decline in quality of life. Gait instability is a common contributor to limited mobility through either an increased fall-risk or fear of falling, but current interventions to address post-stroke gait instability have had limited success. This project will conduct initial testing of a novel elastic force-field designed to improve post-stroke gait stability through targeted motor learning. The results of these experiments will serve as the basis for the development of novel gait rehabilitation techniques, which have the potential to increase the quality of life of thousands of Veterans and save millions of dollars.

Conditions

Interventions

  • Error Augmentation Behavioral
    Intervention Desc: During training sessions, a custom-built force-field will exert forces on the legs while participants walk. These forces will push the legs away from mechanically-appropriate mediolateral locations, having the effect of amplifying the errors in foot placement that are often present among individuals who have experienced a stroke.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Error augmentation
    Description: Participants will complete a 12-week training program, in which they practice walking on a treadmill for 30-minutes during twice-weekly training sessions. During these sessions, participants will interface with a custom-built force-field able to exert mediolateral forces on the legs, which will be in "error augmentation" mode. This training period will be followed by a 12-week follow-up period. Five assessment sessions will be interspersed throughout this total 24-week period.
  • Error reduction Behavioral
    Intervention Desc: During training sessions, a custom-built force-field will exert forces on the legs while participants walk. These forces will push the legs toward mechanically-appropriate mediolateral locations, having the effect of reducing the errors in foot placement that are often present among individuals who have experienced a stroke.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Error reduction
    Description: Participants will complete a 12-week training program, in which they practice walking on a treadmill for 30-minutes during twice-weekly training sessions. During these sessions, participants will interface with a custom-built force-field able to exert mediolateral forces on the legs, which will be in "error reduction" mode. This training period will be followed by a 12-week follow-up period. Five assessment sessions will be interspersed throughout this total 24-week period.
  • Activity matched control Behavioral
    Intervention Desc: During training sessions, participants will interface with a custom-built force-field while they walk. The force-field will essentially get out of the way, producing minimal forces on the legs, and having no direct effect on the errors in foot placement that are often present among individuals who have experienced a stroke.
    ARM 1: Kind: Experimental
    Label: Activity matched control
    Description: Participants will complete a 12-week training program, in which they practice walking on a treadmill for 30-minutes during twice-weekly training sessions. During these sessions, participants will interface with a custom-built force-field able to exert mediolateral forces on the legs, which will be in "transparent" mode. This training period will be followed by a 12-week follow-up period. Five assessment sessions will be interspersed throughout this total 24-week period.

Outcomes

Type Measure Time Frame Safety Issue
Primary Partial correlation between pelvis displacement and paretic step width during gait (change from baseline) 6 months
Secondary Functional Gait Assessment (change from baseline) 6 months
Secondary Activities-specific Balance Confidence scale (change from baseline) 6 months
Secondary 10-meter walk test (change from baseline) 6 months
Secondary Fall incidence (change from baseline) 6 months
Secondary Fear of falling (change from baseline) 6 months

Sponsors