Centre for Neuro Skills enhances patient rehabilitation with new ZeroG Gait and Balance System

Source: Centre for Neuro Skills

A revolutionary system that helps people with neurologic injuries to practice walking and improve balance has been introduced at Centre for Neuro Skills (CNS). The ZeroG® Gait and Balance System combines body weight support mechanics with a robust user interface that records data and patient progress in real-time. CNS is the first postacute facility west of the Rockies to use this advanced technology.

ZeroG over treadmill

“ZeroG® provides functional, real-world ambulation, yet prevents the patient from running, falling or being injured,” said CNS founder and CEO Dr. Mark J. Ashley, Sc.D., CBIST. “This is a remarkable asset for CNS, as the interface is customizable for traumatic brain injury, stroke, and spinal cord injuries and for a broad array of users, from pediatric to elderly patients.”

Its innovative design allows patients with severe to minimal gait impairments to practice ambulation and balance. The patient walks in a secure harness, assisted by a therapist. A 75-foot long ceiling-mounted track and trolley system can be adjusted for support, independent movement, and walking speed.

Each patient’s experience is recorded by the system’s computer, which captures data in real-time. Results can be shared with case managers, physicians, family members and insurers. Outcomes on ambulation distance, speed, balance, and disruptions (would-be falls) help all those involved with the patient to measure progress.

ZeroG iPad

Operation is controlled through a touch screen computer or wirelessly, via iPod and iPad. ZeroG® is designed for the real-life demands of climbing stairs, standing, navigating terrain, sitting and getting off the floor. The system’s body weight support component allows for partial compensation of weakness, spasticity, and abnormal coordination. Such refinements enable patients to practice at high-intensity levels soon after neurologic injuries – factors shown to be related to enhanced outcomes (DeJong et al., 2005; Horn et al., 2005).

To help guide therapists with training ideas, the Activity Library (a large repository of videos) shows patients performing various activities in ZeroG®. Therapists can use the library as a reference for selecting movements appropriate for the patient. Videos can also be played for the patient prior to trying an activity, allowing the therapist to review the goals they want to achieve. Presently, the system is available at CNS’ flagship Bakersfield, California, clinical facility. It is the company goal to place ZeroG® in the Dallas, Los Angeles, and San Francisco locations as well.

Aretech’s ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System at Seton Brain and Spine Recovery Center

Source: Newsroom Ink

On Memorial Day in 2007, Daniel Curtis slipped while diving into his backyard pool and shattered his 6th vertical vertebrae. After spending 10 days in the ICU, he began his road to recovery. Daniel came to Seton Brain and Spine in Austin, TX where he’s been regaining mobility in part by his determination and help from Aretech’s ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System.

ZeroG allows Daniel to go beyond the typical limits to practice crawling, getting up from the floor, stand, balance and walk. The dynamic body-weight support helps assist him during activities while gaining his independence back. Training reports also allow Daniel to see how he’s progressed over time such as levels of body-weight support and number of falls.

Shriners Philadelphia adds ZeroG to their therapy program

Source: Shriners International

After a traumatic spinal cord injury (SCI), most patients and families list walking as one of their top goals of rehabilitation. Twenty years ago, SCI typically meant a patient had to use a wheelchair. Treatment options were very limited and rarely helped with standing and walking. Thankfully, advancements in science and therapy now provide higher hopes for healing.

Shriners Hospitals for Children® — Philadelphia now has the ZeroG Overground Gait and Balance Training System available for patients. This system supports a patient’s body weight and can be used in many ways. Unlike other systems that can only be used on a treadmill, the ZeroG system can also be used over the ground, on a therapy mat, and even for transfer and fall prevention training.

The ZeroG system is mounted to a driven trolley, which rides along an overhead track. Patients put on a special harness, which is connected to a cable that attaches to the trolley. The system can provide up to 300 pounds of static support and 150 pounds of dynamic support. It allows patients with severe gait impairments to practice walking and balance activities in a safe and controlled way.

ZeroG will allow patients at Shriners Philadelphia to practice a variety of activities to help them achieve functional independence at home and in their communities. The Philadelphia hospital is the first in the Shriners Hospitals for Children system and the first hospital in the city of Philadelphia to have ZeroG.

ZeroG machine helps stroke patients walk

Source: NBC 4

Suffering from a stroke can be devastating, leaving victims unable to do simple things like standing up, sitting down, even walking, but now new technology is helping stroke patients get their lives back.

“I started to feel some numbness in the left side of my body,” Colton Peek said. “I tried to stand up. I noticed that I had almost fallen down.”

On April 28, Peek, 46, suffered a stroke that left the left side of his body without any strength. “My whole left side was pretty much just there,” Peek said. “Pretty much wasn’t strong at all. Pretty much lifeless for the most part.” He wasn’t able to walk, devastating for the father of two, who was used to being active. “It’s like, in less than a minute, you’re a totally different person,” he said. “That was tough.”

But on the bright side, Peek still had feeling on his left side and the stroke didn’t affect him cognitively. So doctors at National Rehabilitation Hospital thought his best hope for ever walking again was an experimental machine, called the ZeroG system.

NRH ZeroG Peek 2

“He was a very good candidate because the most significant aspects of his impairments were related to weakness, motor weakness,” said National Rehabilitation Hospital Dr. John Aseff. “He could understand instructions.”

The ZeroG system helps stroke and traumatic brain injury patients learn to walk again by creating a zero gravity environment. Patients are put into a harness and the machine actually lifts some of their body weight off of them. This helps them practice things like standing up, sitting down and walking. As patients start to gain their strength back, more weight is added.

“We can get them up in a very safe and controlled manner and they can practice tasks such as walking, postural balance activities, stepping over obstacles in a safe controlled manner,” said NRH scientist Joe Hidler. Normally, stroke patients work on a treadmill, but that doesn’t prepare them for the real world, Hidler said. “It’s not just about walking, it’s doing the things that they have to do in the community, at home, and really thats the goal of all of our patients, to be able to walk at home and in the community,” Hidler said.

“It allowed me to have 30 to 40 pounds lifted up off of me, which allowed me to gradually learn how to walk better and how to stabilize myself and how to just gradually get back to some sense of normalcy,” Peek said. Peek has been working with the ZeroG machine for four weeks now. He believes he’s on his way to recovery. “I have a firm belief that I will be able to walk again like I was in April, to be able to do the normal things that I’ve been able to do.”