BalanceReTrainer: a new standing-balance training apparatus and methods applied to a chronic hemiparetic subject with a neglect syndrome
NeuroRehabilitation (Reading, MA)
In this paper we present a mechanical apparatus and methods named BalanceReTrainer for standing-balance training in neurologically impaired individuals. BalanceReTrainer provides an impaired individual with a fall-safe balancing environment, where the balancing efforts of a standing individual are augmented by stabilizing forces acting at the level of pelvis in the sagittal and frontal planes of motion, assisting the balancing activity ankle and hip muscles and at the level of shanks, assisting
... the knee extensor muscles. A range of different levels of supporting forces is generated by passive, compliant means. Additionally, movement in the sagittal and frontal planes, acquired by transducers is fed to an electronic interface which transforms the current inclinations into a computer mouse signals, which are interfaced to a personal computer (PC) where balance training and evaluation program is running. The level of stiffness support and level of difficulty of computer task can be selected according to current balancing abilities of the impaired individual. We further present results of a case study where an ambulatory chronic hemiparetic subject with neglect syndrome received ten days of balance training on BalanceReTrainer. Biomechanical evaluation of weight-shifting activity before and after treatment shows a substantial functional improvement.