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FARAFARA Cure FA

The role of robotic gait training and tDCS in Friedrich ataxia rehabilitation: A case report

In patients with FA, physiotherapy is highly recommended to improve motor function outcome. Cerebellar transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) has been demonstrated to be effective in improving symptoms by modulating cerebellar excitability. Recently, robotic rehabilitation with Lokomat-Pro has been used to treat motor impairment in ataxic syndromes by "modulating" cortical plasticity and cerebello-motor connectivity. This group tested this type of robotic rehabilitation on a single 29-year-old Italian male with FA. The group tested the effects of a stand-alone robotic gait training with Lokomat-Pro preceded by cerebellar tDCS (tDCS). They found that the coupled approach (i.e., tDCS and Lokomat) demonstrated better improvement in functional motor outcomes on the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA). Although only a single case is described, the group suggests that the combined neuromodulation-neurorobotic approach could become a promising tool in the rehabilitation of cerebellar ataxias, possibly by shaping cerebello-cerebral plasticity and connectivity.

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Jane Larkindale

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