Post TBI and SCI Therapy enhanced by Tutor System

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The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $2.28 million federal grant to Kessler Foundation of WEST ORANGE, N.J. as reported by PRNewswire on Oct. 4. This 5 year grant will fund the Northern New Jersey Spinal Cord Injury System (NNJSCIS). The NNJSCIS is a comprehensive system of care, research, education and dissemination which aims to improve the quality of life of people with spinal cord injury. The NNJSCIS is run jointly by the Kessler Foundation, Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, together with the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.

Dr. Steven Kirshblum who is co-director of the NNJSCIS and also medical director of Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation and their director of SCI Services said that his organisation is very excited to receive this grant that gives us recognition for our comprehensive services and research activities in the field  of spinal cord injury. The money will be used to continue our research that aims to understand the obstacles to recovery and full patient participation in our community.

Dr  Trevor Dyson-Hudson who is co-director of the NNJSCIS said that “Everything changes for the person with spinal cord injury (SCI), not just mobility,” he stressed. “That’s why the NNJSCIS is looking at factors that are important to overall quality of life (QOL) like access to medical care, pain management, employment and aging with a spinal cord injury.” The group are sure that what they learn in New Jersey will  be relevant to all people in the USA and abroad with spinal cord injury.

In addition, Kessler are taking part in a study using a combination therapy of dalfampridine which is a drug approved to improve walking in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and combining this with standard program of locomotor training. Locomotor training is physical rehabilitation that improves walking and other functional outcomes in persons with spinal cord injuries.

Treating spinal cord and brain injury victims with appropriate therapy tools is extremely important. The Tutor system has shown to be very effective in such post trauma therapy.

When TBI occurs and recovery is progressing the Tutor system (HandTutor, ArmTutor, LegTutor, 3DTutor) has shown much success in rehabilitation of joint movement dysfunction. The LegTutor together with the 3DTutor is used in SCI patients to improve hip, knee and ankle range, accuracy and speed of  movement. This will improve functional walking ability. Tutor system consists of ergonomic wearable devices together with powerful dedicated rehabilitation software. The system is indicated for patients in rehabilitation centers, private clinics and the home where it can be supported by telerehabilitation (TR).

The system consists of motivating and challenging games that allow the patient to practice isolated and/or interjoint coordination exercises. Controlled exercise practice will help to prevent the development of compensatory movement patterns. The dedicated software allows the therapist to fully customize the exercises to the patient’s movement ability. In addition the therapist can objectively and quantitatively evaluate and report on the treatment progress. The rehabilitation system optimizes the patient’s motor, sensory and cognitive performance and allows the patient to better perform everyday functional tasks to improve their quality of life. The Tutor system is FDA and CE certified.

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