Published At: 2019 41st Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC)
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills. Most of the children with cerebral palsy (CP) are not able to walk or can walk in incorrect pattern and are dependent on assistive devices. Recently an antigravity treadmill has been found to be beneficial as a new therapeutic approach. Thus, we aimed to investigate the effects of antigravity treadmill training (AlterG) on gait characteristic in children with cerebral palsy. We provided a 45-minute training program, 3 times a week for 8 weeks for six CP children as our experimental group. Our control group was a group consisted of four CP children who took typical occupational therapy, accordingly. All subjects in both AlterG and control groups were evaluated at the gait lab before and after 8 weeks training. Gait patterns were characterized using spatiotemporal parameters and dynamic balance features. We also evaluated the popular clinical gait measures including walking speed and endurance, and mobility and balance.Our results demonstrated that spatiotemporal, dynamic balance and clinical features all improved more after 8 weeks AlterG training rather than control group ones. These findings suggest that AlterG training can be considered as an effective approach for improving walking ability and gait characteristics in children with cerebral palsy.