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, 2019, 8967138

Motor Improvement in Adolescents Affected by Ataxia Secondary to Acquired Brain Injury: A Pilot Study


Motor Improvement in Adolescents Affected by Ataxia Secondary to Acquired Brain Injury: A Pilot Study

Elisabetta Peri et al. Biomed Res Int.


Aim: To assess changes in locomotion and balance in adolescents affected by ataxia secondary to acquired brain injury after a rehabilitation treatment with physiotherapy and the Gait Real-time Analysis Interactive Lab (GRAIL), an immersive virtual reality platform.

Methods: 11 ataxic adolescents (16(5) years old, 4.7(6.7) years from injury) underwent 20 45-minute sessions with GRAIL plus 20 45-minute sessions of physiotherapy in one month. Patients were assessed before and after rehabilitation with functional scales and three-dimensional multiple-step gait analysis.

Results: Results showed significant improvements in ataxia score assessed by the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia, in dimension D and E of Gross Motor Function Measure, in walking endurance and in balance abilities. Moreover, the training fostered significant changes at hip, knee, and ankle joints, and the decrease of gait variability, toward healthy references.

Interpretation: In spite of the pilot nature of the study, data suggest that training with immersive virtual reality and physiotherapy is a promising approach for ataxic gait rehabilitation, even in chronic conditions.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.


Figure 1
Figure 1
(a) The GRAIL system. (b) Example of balance training exercise: the subject performs a slalom on the snow by shifting the body weight left and right. (c) Example of exercise to train locomotion and gait pattern: the kinetics and kinematics of joints during walking are projected in real time as feedback.

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