Helping the paralyzed to walk again
"The electrical impulse triggers a natural reflex such that the leg is pulled up and the foot moves, so the patient is helped to move their leg even though he or she was partially paralyzed after a stroke."
- Professor Ole Kaeseler Andersen of the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction at Aalborg University, Denmark
A technique helping stroke victims regain their mobility has won the 2010 Danish Research Result of the Year award and is now attracting attention from investors keen to see the research move from the lab and into rehabilitation centers.
Professor Ole Kaeseler Andersen of the Center for Sensory-Motor Interaction at Aalborg University, Denmark, has developed method that uses the nervous system's natural reflex reaction to pain to aid stroke patient rehabilitation.
Andersen's research is based on the way a person pulls the foot back as a reflex to sudden pain - known as nociceptive withdrawal reflex. A better understanding of this reflex has lead to it being used as a tool in rehabilitation.