Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center
The Mandell MS Center


Host to the Multiple Sclerosis Brain Symposium 2016 | About Joyce and Andy Mandell


State-of-the-Art Facilities

The Lokomat®: Walking Along a New Pathway Video

Lokomat Full Side“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.”

Anklebot®: Doing the Legwork

RESEARCH PROJECT – Patient Shirley Ostertag (left) demonstrates to News Channel 8’s Jocelyn Maminta (right) the movement she has been able to achieve with the Anklebot®. The Mandell MS Center at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital is one of three centers in the country that have developed a research project to evaluate the potential use of the computerized robot assistive device for patients who are experiencing foot drop.

The Mandell MS Center at Mount Sinai is currently conducting research on a computerized device called the Anklebot®, which is intended to help patients with diseases such as multiple sclerosis cope with foot drop.

“This is one of the building blocks that will help people regain the ability to walk,” says Robert Krug, M.D. “We believe that it may reduce muscle spasms, improve range of motion and joint position awareness, with the ultimate goal of facilitating the ability to walk.”

Under the leadership of Albert Lo, M.D., Ph.D., the Center’s Research Director, the Mandell Center is one of only three centers in the country conducting research on the Anklebot. In this study, patients sit in front of a computer screen wearing a special shoe and brace connected to the Anklebot device which helps them manipulate a cursor on the screen with their foot and ankle to complete a video game.

“Patients are very enthusiastic about their participation in the project because they feel they are contributing to research focused on MS symptom management,” observes Jennifer Fawcett, Exercise Physiologist and the Center’s Research Coordinator.

Today, robotic-assisted devices are paving the way for stroke patients to recover and regain mobility faster through computerized therapy. The Anklebot® is an excellent example of this new capability. The device extends to increase the functionality of a patient's lower extremities, controlling stability as a patient walks. In other words, the Anklebot does the legwork.

How it Works

A video screen prompts the Anklebot's user to perform an exercise. If the patient cannot perform the function, the robot moves the limb. If the patient then starts to gain control of the limb, the robot will adjust its levels of guidance and assistance to the patient.

RT300 FES Cycle: Hope for Regained Mobility

Mount Sinai’s next generation functional electrical stimulation (FES) bicycle is giving hope to patients that they may someday regain some of their lost mobility. The RT300 cycle represents the next generation of this technology. The state-of-the-art bike, one of only a few in Connecticut, stimulates the muscles of the upper and lower extremities with electrical energy, facilitating neuromuscular activity to get a patient’s nerves and muscles working again.

While Mount Sinai has had previous FES bikes, this newest model can be used by both patients who have suffered strokes and those with upper extremity injuries. It has been enthusiastically embraced by patients who say that the bike gives them freedom to move that they haven’t had in a long time.

One of the advanced features incorporated into the RT300 is a spasm detector mode, which detects spasms as they begin to develop and adjusts the motion of the cycle to reduce the muscle contraction in its early stages.

ARMEO®: Getting a Grip on Hand and Arm Function

The Armeo arm therapy device, the only technology of its kind in Connecticut, helps patients with neurological impairments such as stroke, brain injury and Multiple Sclerosis, regain arm and hand function by allowing them to master a wide range of functional movements and tasks through repetitive interactions in virtual environments.

The GAITRite® Mat: Striding Toward Improved Mobility

The GAITRite® Mat, a portable, instrumented walkway, is used to analyze details of walking, such as gait pattern, step length and width, to help guide treatment decisions.

Balance Master®:
Steady Improvement


The Balance Master® provides assessment and retraining of the sensory and voluntary motor control of balance, assisting the patient in achieving better balance control.

Leg Bioness®: Opening the Gait to Accelerated Rehabilitation

The Leg Bioness® system tracks the patient's leg positions during walking, and stimulates muscle groups in order to help the patient better synchronize walking movement.

Dynavision®: Lighting the Way to Regained Coordination

Dynavision® is used to evaluate and treat patients through forced cognitive training, helping improve hand-eye coordination and reaction time.

Biodex®: Bent on Improved Flexibility and Muscle Strength

The Biodex Dynamometer makes it possible for physiatrists to accurately assess muscle strength and joint flexibility, and to design rehabilitative programs that most efficiently answer each patient's unique needs.


The Mandell MS Center
490 Blue Hills Avenue
Hartford, CT 06112