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Improving Gait Performance in Individuals With Spinal Cord Injuries: an Intervention Using Robotic Exoskeletons

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ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03011099
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : January 5, 2017
Results First Posted : April 3, 2018
Last Update Posted : April 3, 2018
Sponsor:
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Matthew Edward Davis, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

Brief Summary:
The purpose of this study is to investigate whether robotic exoskeleton training can improve walking performance after SCI as compared to conventional physical therapy.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Spinal Cord Injuries Device: Robotic exoskeleton training Other: Conventional physical therapy Not Applicable

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 12 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Improving Gait Performance in Individuals With Spinal Cord Injuries: an Intervention Using Robotic Exoskeletons
Study Start Date : January 2014
Actual Primary Completion Date : March 2016
Actual Study Completion Date : March 2016

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine


Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Robotic exoskeleton training
During the training, subjects will wear a lower extremity exoskeleton robotic walking device. Subjects will participate in individualized treatment sessions which may include: sit to stand, static and dynamic standing balance, weight shifting, walking, turning, and stand to sit. Each training session will last up to 90 minutes (60 minutes of training with 30 minutes for setup, don/doff of device) and training will be held 5 days per week for 3 weeks with a total of 15 sessions. During the training period, subjects will be required to maintain the same amount and level of regular daily physical activity and exercise.
Device: Robotic exoskeleton training
During the training, subjects will wear a lower extremity exoskeleton robotic walking device. Subjects will participate in individualized treatment sessions which may include: sit to stand, static and dynamic standing balance, weight shifting, walking, turning, and stand to sit. Each training session will last up to 90 minutes (60 minutes of training with 30 minutes for setup, don/doff of device) and training will be held 5 days per week for 3 weeks with a total of 15 sessions. During the training period, subjects will be required to maintain the same amount and level of regular daily physical activity and exercise.

Active Comparator: Conventional Physical Therapy
During the training, subjects will receive conventional physical therapy that is designed to facilitate/promote gait. This will include individualized treatment sessions for each subject and may involve stretching, strengthening, balance training, standing, and gait training. Subjects will not be able to participate in any form of robotic assisted or body weight supported treadmill training. Each training session will last up to 60 minutes and training will be held 5 days per week for 3 weeks with a total of 15 sessions. Consistent with the RET group, subjects will be required to maintain the same amount and level of regular daily physical activity and exercise during study period.
Other: Conventional physical therapy
During the training, subjects will receive conventional physical therapy that is designed to facilitate/promote gait. This will include individualized treatment sessions for each subject and may involve stretching, strengthening, balance training, standing, and gait training. Subjects will not be able to participate in any form of robotic assisted or body weight supported treadmill training. Each training session will last up to 60 minutes and training will be held 5 days per week for 3 weeks with a total of 15 sessions. Consistent with the RET group, subjects will be required to maintain the same amount and level of regular daily physical activity and exercise during study period.




Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Over Ground Gait Speed as Assessed by the 10 Meter Walk Test [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]
    The 10 Meter Walk Test assesses the time taken to walk 10 meters.

  2. Change in Walking Endurance as Assessed by the 6 Minute Walk Test [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]
    The 6 Minute Walk Test assesses the distance walked in 6 minutes.

  3. Change in Dynamic Mobility Assessment as Determined by the Timed Up and Go Test [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]
    The Timed Up and Go test assessed the time it takes to stand from a sitting position, complete a 3 meter walk, and then return to sitting.

  4. Change in Muscle Activity as Assessed by Surface Electromyography (EMG) [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]
    Surface EMG sensors will be placed on the skin of subjects' lower extremities and trunk to measure muscle activity. Only one participant data was analyzed. Emg was recorded from the soleus, gastrocnemius, tibialis anterior, rectus femoris, vastus medialis, bicep femoris and semitendinosus muscles. The outcome measure is the %age change between the baseline and 4 week assessments. Negative values denotes decrease in muscle activity at 4 week compared to baseline.

  5. Change in Energy Expenditure During Walking as Assessed by Oxygen Cost [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]
    Oxygen cost will be calculated from oxygen consumption as the product of gait speed and body weight.20 Oxygen consumption will be calculated on a breath-by-breath basis measured by a portable metabolic system (Cosmed K4b2).


Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Change in Gait Characteristics as Assessed by the GAITRite Walkway (Cadence) [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]
    Gait quality will be measured with the GAITRite Walkway which can quantify step cadence, step length, step time, double support time, and symmetry. Cadence is measured as steps/min. Change in cadence is reported as difference between baseline and post assessment.

  2. Change in Gait Characteristics as Assessed by the GAITRite Walkway (Step Length) [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]
    Gait quality will be measured with the GAITRite Walkway which can quantify step cadence, step length, step time, double support time, and symmetry. The change in step length between baseline and post assessment is reported. Negative value denotes decrease in step length.

  3. Change in Gait Characteristics as Assessed by the GAITRite Walkway (Step Time) [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]
    Gait quality will be measured with the GAITRite Walkway which can quantify step cadence, step length, step time, double support time, and symmetry. The outcome measure is the difference in step time between pre and post assessment. Negative value denotes decrease in step time (implying faster step time at post).

  4. Change in Lower Extremity Strength as Assessed by American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) Lower Extremity Motor Score (LEMS) [ Time Frame: baseline, week 4 ]

    The ASIA (American Spinal Injury Association) assessment protocol consists of two sensory examinations, a motor examination and a classification framework (the impairment scale) to quantify the severity of the spinal cord injury. The scale informs about the functionality of the patient. The range of scores is 0 to 5, and high values represent better outcome. Following is the description of the range:

    0 = total paralysis

    1. = palpable or visible contraction
    2. = active movement, full range of motion (ROM) with gravity eliminated
    3. = active movement, full ROM against gravity
    4. = active movement, full ROM against gravity and moderate resistance in a muscle specific position
    5. = (normal) active movement, full ROM against gravity and full resistance in a functional muscle position expected from an otherwise unimpaired person

    We report the difference between baseline and 4week assessments. Negative value denotes decrease at post assessment.


  5. Exoskeleton User Feedback as Assessed by a Questionnaire [ Time Frame: week 4 ]
    A questionnaire will be administered to allow participants to provide feedback regarding their experiences during training sessions with the exoskeleton. The units on a scale was used to measure the feedback. The range of the scale was 1-5. '1' refers to very satisfied and '5' refers to very dissatisfied. '1' refers to a better outcome.



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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Criteria

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Motor Incomplete spinal cord injury, as classified by American Spinal Injury Association guidelines, above the lumbar level (T12 and above).
  • Able to independently stand for two minutes with or without an assistive device and with or without orthoses distal to the knee.
  • Male or non-pregnant woman
  • ≥ 18-years of age
  • At least 6 months after injury
  • Height between 5'2" and 6'2" (150-188 cm)
  • Weight ≤ 220 pounds (100 kg)
  • Ability to perform informed consent

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Presence of clinical signs of lower motor neuron injury
  • History of severe neurologic injuries other than SCI (MS, CP, ALS, TBI, CVA, etc.)
  • Severe comorbidities: active infections, heart, lung, or circulatory conditions, pressure ulcers.
  • Documented severe osteoporosis affecting the hip and spine
  • Severe spasticity in the lower extremities (Modified Ashworth ≥ 3) or uncontrolled clonus
  • Unstable spine
  • Unhealed limb or pelvic fractures
  • Skin issues that would prevent wearing the device
  • Range of motion restrictions that would prevent subject from achieving a normal, reciprocal gait pattern, or would restrict a subject from completing normal sit to stand or stand to sit transitions.
  • Upper extremity strength deficits that limit ability to balance with a front rolling walker or crutches.
  • Heterotopic ossification that resists functional range of motion in lower extremities
  • Contractures (>15 degrees at the hips or >20 degrees at the knees)
  • Psychiatric or cognitive comorbidities resulting in motor planning or impulsivity concerns
  • Colostomy
  • Have received any physical therapy intervention within 3 months prior to enrolment in the study
  • Non-English speaking

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier (NCT number): NCT03011099


Locations
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United States, Texas
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Sponsors and Collaborators
The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Investigators
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Principal Investigator: Matthew Davis, MD The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston

Publications automatically indexed to this study by ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier (NCT Number):
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Responsible Party: Matthew Edward Davis, Assistant Professor, The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT03011099     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: HSC-MS-13-0536
First Posted: January 5, 2017    Key Record Dates
Results First Posted: April 3, 2018
Last Update Posted: April 3, 2018
Last Verified: March 2018
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Spinal Cord Injuries
Wounds and Injuries
Spinal Cord Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Trauma, Nervous System
Benzocaine
Anesthetics, Local
Anesthetics
Central Nervous System Depressants
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Sensory System Agents
Peripheral Nervous System Agents