Background and purpose: The motor impairments related to gait and balance have a huge impact on the life of individuals with spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA). Here, the aim was to assess the possibility of retraining gait, improving cardiopulmonary capacity, and challenging balance during gait in SCA using a partial body weight support (BWS) and a treadmill. Also, the effects of this training over functionality and quality of life were investigated.
Methods: Eight SCA patients were engaged in the first stage of the study that focused on gait training and cardiovascular conditioning. From those, five took part in a second stage of the study centered on dynamic balance training during gait. The first and second stages lasted 8 and 10 weeks, respectively, both comprising sessions of 50 min (2 times per week).
Results: The results showed that gait training using partial BWS significantly increased gait performance, treadmill inclination, duration of exercise, and cardiopulmonary capacity in individuals with SCA. After the second stage, balance improvements were also found.
Conclusion: Combining gait training and challenging tasks to the postural control system in SCA individuals is viable, well tolerated by patients with SCA, and resulted in changes in capacity for walking and balance.
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Treadmill Training With Partial Body Weight Support Compared With Conventional Gait Training for Low-Functioning Children and Adolescents With Nonspastic Cerebral Palsy: A Two-Period Crossover StudyIY Su et al. Prosthet Orthot Int 37 (6), 445-53. PMID 23436693. - Randomized Controlled TrialOur findings revealed that the partial body weight-supported treadmill training was effective in improving gross motor skills for low-functioning children and adolescents …
Combining the Treatment Modalities of Body Weight Support Treadmill Training and Thera-Band: A Case Study of an Individual With Hemiparetic GaitD Veneri. Top Stroke Rehabil 18 (4), 402-16. PMID 21914606. - ReviewUsing Thera-Band in combination with the BWSTT eliminated the need for a therapist to manually assist the hemiparetic limb and/or the need for an AFO in this single-subje …
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