The Lokomat: Walking Along a New Pathway 


LokoMat“I was headed for more time in a wheelchair,”says Mike Cummings. That is, until he started training on the Lokomat, a computer-controlled robotic treadmill. Using technology based on the concepts of task-specific learning and reverse training, the Lokomat replicates a normal gait for rehab patients with a walking disability. The patient’s legs are secured in special cuffs and guided along a treadmill outfitted with sensors that send visual feedback to computer screens for the patient and therapist. The very act of walking correctly changes the brain and helps recapture function that until recently might have been considered lost for good. This “re-training” can make dramatic and lasting improvements, as it did for Mike Cummings. Today, he not only walks unassisted, but also has experienced improvement in his posture and speaking. “The Lokomat is a fantastic rehabilitation device,” he says. “And the most exciting aspect of the Lokomat at Mount Sinai is that it will be used in clinical applications as well as research.”