Perturbation-based locomotor training for individuals post-stroke

Seoung Hoon Park, Ph.D.
SEC 204
Many individuals with stroke-induced hemiparesis suffer from impairments in walking. Impaired walking in stroke survivors is characterized by heavy reliance on the unaffected leg, which may lead to its overuse and asymmetrical gait patterns. Locomotor training using a treadmill or overground walking has been commonly used in clinical settings for improving locomotor function in individuals after stroke. Although changes observed after locomotor training are statistically significant, the functional gains are relatively small. One possible reason for the relatively limited effectiveness of these locomotor training approaches is that participants often rely on the unaffected leg to compensate for the weakness of the affected leg during locomotor training. Repeated walking practice in this pattern may reinforce the compensatory gait patterns for some patients. In this seminar, Dr. Park will discuss his efforts to develop perturbation-based rehabilitation strategies that can enhance the use of the affected leg during locomotor training to improve its motor function.