Hesse: Recovery of gait and other motor functions after stroke: Novel physical and pharmacological treatment strategies
The gait-lab at Klinik Berlin developed and evaluated novel physical and pharmacological strategies promoting the repetitive practise of hemiparetic gait in line with the slogan: who wants to relearn walking, has to walk. Areas of research are treadmill training with partial body weight support, enabling wheelchair-bound subjects to repetitively practice gait, the electromechanical gait trainer GT I reducing the effort on the therapists as compared to the manually assisted locomotor therapy, and the future HapticWalker which will allow the additional practise of stair climbing up and down and of perturbations. Further means to promote gait practice after stroke was the application of botulinum toxin A for the treatment of lower limb spasticity and the early use of walking aids. New areas of research are also the study of D-Amphetamine, which failed to promote motor recovery in acute stroke patients as compared to placebo, and the development of a computerized arm trainer, Bi-Manu-Track, for the bilateral treatment of patients with a severe upper limb paresis.