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Lokomat Training Effects on MS Gait Abnormalities

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT00766272
Recruitment Status : Terminated (Study re-designed)
First Posted : October 3, 2008
Last Update Posted : September 23, 2013
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development ( US Department of Veterans Affairs )

Brief Summary:

Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative disease that affects more than 400,000 people in the US alone. MS is in fact the most common disabling neurological disorder in young adults. Symptoms of the disease can include problems with balance, walking, fatigue, weakness and vision. Over 85% of people with Multiple Sclerosis have problems walking. This can cause them to fall or have a constant fear of falling. To prevent falling, MS patients rely on equipment, such as walkers and canes. These costs can cause financial difficulties for MS patients and families.

A significant problem that is only recently being studied is the relationship between falling and MS. Recent studies have shown that MS patients fall more often than those without MS, and also fall more than the elderly population. The consequent fear of falling is also an important problem, as those worried about falling will probably change their daily habits to lower their risk. This can mean keeping from certain physical and social activities or even staying indoors. Thus, falls and fear of falling can have negative medical, physical, psychological, and social consequences for the patient.

Improving patients' walking may help reduce falls and the fear of falling. Treadmill training has been shown to improve walking in patients with MS and to lower their risk of falling. One way to train patients on a treadmill is with the use of robots that can help move their limbs in a more normal way. This kind of robot-assisted treadmill training may provide even greater benefits than treadmill training alone.

The study is expected to last 6-7.5 months. One group of participants will receive weekly telephone calls and will be asked questions on other physical activities, falls, and activity limitations the patient had during the week. Participants assigned to robot-assisted treadmill training will receive twice weekly training session for 8 weeks, for a total of 16 sessions. Each session will last about 65 to 90 minutes.

The goal of this study is to see if robot-assisted treadmill training will reduce falls and fear of falling in patients with MS. Robot-assisted treadmill training has been shown to be effective in reducing falls and fear of falling in Parkinson's disease patients. This type of training has not been tested in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. The proposed study will help to address this gap and also provide additional data on other possible improvements due to robot-assisted treadmill training including ambulation, social participation, fatigue, and balance.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Multiple Sclerosis Device: Lokomat Phase 1 Phase 2

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 20 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Gait Rehabilitation for Multiple Sclerosis Using Robot-assisted Body-weight-supported Treadmill Training (Lokomat)
Study Start Date : June 2008
Actual Primary Completion Date : June 2008
Actual Study Completion Date : June 2008

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Arm 1
Body-weight supported treadmill training
Device: Lokomat
Body-weight will be supported using a harness, which suspends the subject above a motorized treadmill (Lokomat, Hocoma, Zurich, Switzerland). The system also incorporates a robot-driven gait orthotic, called the Lokomat, which will be secured to the subject's lower extremity and pelvis using adjustable cuffs and pads. The Lokomat uses computer-controlled motors to drive the hips and knees toward more normative kinematic patterns for gait.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Frequency of Falls [ Time Frame: 6-7.5 months ]

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  1. Diagnosis of MS by McDonald criteria
  2. Ability to clearly understand written and oral direction in English
  3. Self-reported gait problem
  4. One or more falls in the past 6 months
  5. The ability to walk 25 feet with no more than a cane for assistance (The subject must be comfortable using a cane)
  6. Age 18-70
  7. Written informed consent to participate in the study
  8. Approval from subject's primary care physician for physical activity

Exclusion Criteria:

  1. No relapse within the last 3 months
  2. No more than two relapses within the past 12 months
  3. Recent myocardial infarction
  4. Uncontrolled hypertension or diabetes
  5. Symptomatic fall in blood pressure when standing
  6. Vascular claudication or pitting edema
  7. Cognitive impairments that limit comprehension of protocol instructions (assessed by Comprehension Test of Consent Form)
  8. Body weight over 150 kg
  9. FES-I < 25
  10. Lower extremity injuries that limit range of motion or function
  11. Joint problems (hip or leg) that limit range of motion or cause pain with movement
  12. Unstable fractures
  13. Pressure sores with any skin breakdown in areas in contact with the body harness or the robot-driven gait orthotic apparatus
  14. Currently enrolled in an alcohol or drug treatment program
  15. A complicating medical condition that would prevent completion of the trial
  16. Enrolled in or planning to enroll in another interventional research trial using procedures proposed to enhance or limit the function of the upper or lower extremities (such as adjuvant rehabilitation or Botox injections) during the 24 weeks of participation
  17. A difference of more than 2cm between subjects' right and left leg lengths
  18. Unable to be properly fit into the harness or Lokomat device
  19. Hypertonicity or spasticity that it interferes with a proper fit into the Lokomat
  20. Pregnancy at enrollment, as determined by a home pregnancy test kit at screening visit

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 identifier (NCT number): NCT00766272

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United States, Rhode Island
Providence VA Medical Center
Providence, Rhode Island, United States, 02908-4799
Sponsors and Collaborators
US Department of Veterans Affairs
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Principal Investigator: Albert Lo, MD PhD Providence VA Medical Center

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Responsible Party: US Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier: NCT00766272    
Other Study ID Numbers: LO-0003
First Posted: October 3, 2008    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: September 23, 2013
Last Verified: September 2013
Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development ( US Department of Veterans Affairs ):
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Multiple Sclerosis
Pathologic Processes
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System
Nervous System Diseases
Demyelinating Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases