Middle east medical - online edition - al hilal publishing & marketing group

Middle East Medical - Online Edition - Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group October 2006
Volume 4 Issue 10
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Otto Bock implant receives
Highlighted News
Europe-wide certification
ActiGait . rewiring partially paralysed
micro-technological rehabilitation aid restores confidence and improves walking The ActiGait is a first-time foray beneath the skin for Otto Bock, global leader in exoprosthetics and renowned manufacturer of wheelchairs and orthoses. Neuro- stimulation technology will mean a whole new world of products for the company. “The ActiGait has opened the door to a new growth market and new target groups. Breathtaking new opportunities for medical technology are emerging,” says Prof Hans Georg Näder, chairman and CEO of the Otto Bock Group.
According to the World Health Organisation, 15 million people suffer from strokes every year. In Germany, some 150,000 cases are reported each year by the Erlangen stroke registry association, which estimates a 2 per cent annual increase in the number of strokes as the percentage of the population over age 60 rises. According to statistics, the risk of stroke is much greater in individuals Following a stroke, patients are often insufficiently or even completely unable to lift their foot with their ankle, causing their toes to drag on the ground. As the patient walks, the impaired leg moves in an arc to strike the ground on the next step. This results in a highly abnormal gait pattern. Extreme instability in standing and walking is the most difficult part of the rehabilitation process for such patients. This in turns leads to considerable limitations in everyday activities and a significant decrease in the patient’s quality of life.
Technology for people
Thanks to the ActiGait, stroke patients can now actively lift their toes off the ground and significantly enhance their walking ability and confidence. The ActiGait uses a neuro-implant beneath the skin to stimulate functional nerves, which the brain can no longer control.
“Using innovative medical technology to helping stroke victims return to their normal lives is one of the most exciting challenges of the near future,” says Dr Hans Dietl, chief technology officer of Otto Bock HealthCare, who coordinates research and development in the field of neuro-stimulation.
The incorporation of Neurodan A/S into Otto Bock HealthCare’s international research network considerably fostered and accelerated the development of the ActiGait. In spring 2005, Neurodan, an organisation which brings together top neuro-stimulation researchers in Aalborg, Denmark, joined the German global player Otto Bock with its affiliates in 36 countries around the world. The first implantation is set to take place shortly in Aalborg, with the next one scheduled How does ActiGait work?
http://www.middleeastmedical.com/Articles.asp?Article=1712 (1 von 2)10.11.2006 10:46:59 Middle East Medical - Online Edition - Al Hilal Publishing & Marketing Group The ActiGait neuro-stimulator uses electrically coded movement information to reactivate the fully or partially paralysed muscle via healthy nerves. The movement impulse is transmitted by a small electronic chip, which is inserted under the patient’s skin with a tiny incision in the thigh.
A cable leads from the hollow of the knee to the muscle nerve, and connects with the nerve via a specially developed collar-shaped electrode. Once this connection is established, the natural path of signal transmission can be used. The muscle receives an impulse instructing it to contract, and it lifts the foot.
The implanted chip is powered by an external control unit worn on the patient’s belt. A pressure sensor on the bottom of the patient’s foot provides the control unit with information about the current gait status.
The control unit analyses this data and adjusts muscle stimulation to the patient’s movement. Until recently, muscles were stimulated using surface electrodes along the path of the nerve, but these electrodes were less sophisticated in the The implant system can enhance or completely replace a conventional orthotic fitting. Neuro-stimulation aims to expand the patient’s range of activities, boost independence, retain or restore personal levels of activity, reduce muscle stiffness and maintain joint flexibility.
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Source: http://professionals.ottobock.ru/cps/rde/xbcr/ob_ru_ru/ps_en_2006_10_www_middleeastmedical_com_actigate.pdf

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