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New Study Compares WalkAide with Orthotic for Foot Drop

03-16-2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kessler Foundation and Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation received a joint two-year contract from Innovative Neurotronics, Inc. to test treatment options for a common side effect of stroke known as foot drop.

Randomized Trial of the Innovative Neurotronics WalkAide Compared to Conventional Ankle-Foot Orthosis in Stroke Patients," or "INSTRIDE," will test the WalkAide device against the standard Ankle-Foot Orthosis (AFO) for improving walking ability after a stroke.

Kessler Foundation researcher Karen J. Nolan, Ph.D., is the Principal Investigator for the Kessler location. She will conduct tests to examine walking speed, agility and the ability to navigate obstacles using the devices. Dr. Nolan presented her research on AFOs at the emed Scientific Meeting in August, which is featured in the Lower Extremity Review.

Staff physiatrist at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, Neil Jasey, M.D., is serving as the medical director for the study. He will perform medical assessments, prescribe the AFO or WalkAide and monitor the comfort and safety of participants throughout the trial.

The goal is to test 52 individuals post-stroke who have foot drop and some walking ability. Approximately 1,100 individuals will be tested at 30 centers nationwide. The AFO or WalkAide will be assigned randomly. Participants will be eligible to receive the WalkAide at the conclusion of the study.

 

I'm really excited to explore this new technology and bring it to people who would normally not have access to it,s said Dr. Nolan. Participants will be able to see the results and we'll be able to compare the benefits

Foot drop is the inability to raise the forefoot, causing a tendency to drag the foot while walking. The AFO is an open plastic assistive brace that is worn inside a flat shore to help maintain the foot in position. The WalkAide is a device about the size of a pager that straps to the leg just below the knee. It applies electrical stimulation to trigger the foot to lift and relax during walking and can be worn with or without shoes.