For people with multiple sclerosis, or MS, walking can be a challenge.
The disease disrupts signals from the brain and MS patients have trouble moving.
Kathy Miska is fighting her multiple sclerosis one step at a time.
She’s one of five MS patients at the Cleveland Clinic taking part in a research study to see if a special robotic brace, or exoskeleton, will help.
Francois Bethoux of The Cleveland Clinic says they hope these exoskeletons help to retrain the brain to walk comfortably.
“By doing what we would call a forced use then hopefully you’ll reprogram the brain so that it actually can work better and create better walking.”
The device is programmed to each person who uses it. Braces support the lower body and carry the patient while sensors tell motors to lift the legs and help the patient walk.
Kathy comes to the lab for one hour sessions, three days a week, hoping the device helps her to walk.
She says therapy sessions are hard work, but well worth the effort.
If it works, the Cleveland Clinic researchers will try a larger study with exoskeleton therapy.