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Independent Ambulation by Complete Paraplegics via FES: Walking Performanceand Medical Evaluation

The lecture discusses a noninvasive functional electrical stimulation (FES) system (the Parastep-I system) for ambulation by traumatic paraplegics with complete spinal cord lesions at between T-1 and T-12, as developed by the speaker and which is the first FDA-approved such system. Design considerations relating to signal design, signal processing and control will be addressed, both for the present (commercially available) system and for its second generation , as is presently tested. Ambulation performance (average distances of 350ft/walk after 33 training sessions and 1500 ft/walk after 4 months of daily training) will be discussed as will the medical benefits, as evaluated over the years. Medical evaluation performed by University of Miami researchers on 16 users of the Parastep showed an increase of 60&--37; (average) in lower extremity arterial blood flow after 11 weeks (33 sessions) of ambulation training. Another study at the University of Miami showed a considerable improvement in psychological self-concept scores and in depression scores, again, when averaged on 16 patients after 11 weeks of training. Positive effects on reduced spasticity (on the average) were consistently observed in our studies and are in agreement with all centers commenting on that aspect. The same was found in our small pilot study on FES in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients.

Type of Seminar:
Public Seminar
CANCELED / Prof. Daniel Graupe
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Illinois, Chicago
Jul 12, 1999   17:15

ETH-Zentrum, Gloriastrasse 35, ETZ E6, 8006 Zürich
Contact Person:

Danielle Couson
No downloadable files available.
Biographical Sketch:
Daniel Graupe, Ph.D., is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Professor of Bioengineering and Adjunct Professor of Rehabilitation Medicine and Restorative Medical Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he directs the signal and image processing laboratory.
Dr. Graupe is Fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers). He received his BSME, BSEE and Dipl. Ing. EE degrees from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Liverpool, England.
He is the holder of 20 U.S. patents and of several foreign patents, including the patents for the Parastep electrical stimulation system for ambulation by paraplegics, which is manufactured by Sigmedics, Inc., Northfield, IL.
Dr. Graupe's functional electrical stimulation system for ambulation by paraplegics (following his patents) was approved in 1994 for sale as safe and effective by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration, USA) - as the first and presently, the only unbraced ambulation system for traumatic paraplegics so approved.