Harvard Heart Letter

Robotics help stroke survivors walk again

Sophisticated devices add to traditional rehabilitation techniques.

Every year, thousands of people survive strokes (or "brain attacks"), only to become locked in an arduous struggle to regain lost function. With the help of modern rehabilitation techniques, many are able to resume a normal or near-normal lifestyle.

Others are left with substantial deficits that impair their ability to live independently.

For people with difficulty walking after a stroke, exoskeletons hold exciting promise. These robotic, computer-controlled devices provide physical support while helping move patients' legs back and forth.

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