Walking and Fitness Improvements in a Child With Diplegic Cerebral Palsy Following Motor-Assisted Elliptical Intervention

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Purpose:To quantify effects of motor-assisted elliptical (Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical [ICARE]) training on walking and fitness of a child with cerebral palsy (CP).Key Points:A 12-year-old boy with walking limitations due to spastic diplegic CP (Gross Motor Function Classification System II) participated in 24 sessions of primarily moderate- to vigorous-intensity ICARE exercise. Fitness improvements were evidenced clinically across sessions by the child's capacity to train for longer periods, at faster speeds, and while overriding motor's assistance. Postintervention, the child walked faster with greater stability and endurance and more rapidly completed the modified Time Up and Go test.Conclusion:The child's fitness and gait improved following engagement in a moderate- to vigorous-intensity gait-like exercise intervention.Recommendations for Clinical Practice:Integration of moderate- to vigorous-intensity motor-assisted elliptical training can promote simultaneous gains in fitness and function for children with CP.

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