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Hocoma Lokomat Therapy Kicks off Soccer World Cup 2014
[June 12, 2014]

Hocoma Lokomat Therapy Kicks off Soccer World Cup 2014

NORWELL, Mass. --(Business Wire)--

On Thursday June 12, 2014 a completely paralyzed SCI patient will enter the field of the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paolo in a wheelchair, stand up, walk a few meters and perform the kickoff of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in the opening match Brazil vs. Croatia. Enabled by the therapy with the Lokomat, the patient will steer a full-body robotic exoskeleton with his mind. All of the eight patients chosen for the task could walk at some point in their lives but suffered an injury resulting in paralysis. In order to be able to steer the robotic exoskeleton, the patients are training intensively with the LokomatPro. The LokomatPro supports the reorganization of the brain, enabling paralyzed patients to recover lost motor functions.

The exoskeleton has been developed by the Walk Again Project, a nonprofit, international collaboration led by Miguel Nicolelis. The patient is wearing a non-invasive headpiece that detects brain waves. With messages provided by the brain, such as moving or stopping, the patient is able to control the exoskeleton that generates movements. /p>

The highly repetitive gait training provided by the LokomatPro ensures the optimum utilization of neuroplasticity and recovery potential. It supports the reorganization of the brain and relearning of lost motor functions. According to Miguel Nicolelis, the LokomatPro and its motivating virtual environment is their most important tool in gait training with patients.

The LokomatPro is now available with the new module FreeD and the Challenge package. The FreeD module improves the therapy by allowing for lateral translation and transverse rotation of the pelvis. While training, patients can shift their weight completely over their stance leg and thereby activate their core muscles and experience balance aspects. With the new Challenge Package, the LokomatPro offers highly attractive exercises that boost the patient's motivation and effort by providing competitive elements and intuitive scoring. The Challenge Package allows to focus on specific therapy aspects such as activity timing and coordination, movement pattern and gait symmetry.


Hocoma was set up in 2000, as a spin-off of the Swiss University Hospital Balgrist. The company currently employs more than 150 people at its headquarters near Zurich, Switzerland and at its subsidiaries in the US, Singapore and Slovenia. Hocoma develops and produces therapy solutions for neurological patients with movement disorders caused by stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy or other neurological diseases and injuries as well as for low back pain patients. The product range features devices for intensive locomotion therapy (Lokomat®), functional therapy of the upper extremities (Armeo®), early rehabilitation and patient mobilization (Erigo®) as well as functional movement therapy within low back pain treatment (Valedo®). Hocoma's products are applied successfully in clinics and research institutes worldwide. Dr. Gery Colombo is the CEO of Hocoma AG located in Switzerland.

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