This project started in 2004 with the objective to study the effects of patterned multi-channel stimulation during the walking sessions of acute post-stroke hemiplegic individuals. The use of multi-channel stimulation that is timed with the phases of the gait in hemiplegics individuals was termed FET in analogy with the work that we are doing in upper extremities. The first phase of the work uses a pre-programmed stimulation pattern that is triggered by the therapist of the hemiplegic himself. The study was initiated in the rehabilitation center in Brønderslev, Denmark, and in the Rehabilitation Institute “Dr Miroslav Zotović” in Belgrade. The study in Denmark is done in close collaboration with Nazarena Mazzaro, Erika Spaich, Mike Grey and Ph.D. student Venkateswaran Rajagopalan, who decided to leave the Ph.D. program during the summer 2005. The funding of the work in Belgrade was provided by the Ministry for Science and Environmental Protection of Serbia through the research grant to Mirjana Popović. The pilot results were presented at the IFESS Conference in Montreal, Canada (Popović DB et al., 2005). Some of the results were also presented at the EUROCON Conference (Rajagopalan et al., 2005). The results lead to the conclusion that electrical stimulation that is timed to augment afferent and efferent signals during walking is beneficial and contribute to better symmetry and faster walking. A therapeutic effect, that is, a carry-over effect, has been noticed. One of the major findings is that the system has to be improved and use sensory driven control in order to fit better into the synergistic control of walking. The electrical stimulation has to match the intention of the subject in order to maximize the effects.
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