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University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences

​University of Pittsburgh Researchers Seek Participants for Study That Will Evaluate Devices Ability to Correct Gait Irregularities Following Stroke

PITTSBURGH, January 4, 2007 The department of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Pittsburgh is seeking participants for a study that will examine the effectiveness of a small electronic stimulating device in regulating foot drop, a change in gait that follows a stroke.

Foot drop is an irregular gait pattern that results from an individual dragging one foot across the ground when he or she walks. Caused by a strokes damage to the parts of the brain that direct foot motion, foot drop can result in diminished physical activity and can increase the risk of falling, among other negative outcomes. The most common treatment for the condition requires a person to wear a bulky, uncomfortable brace around his or her ankle to correct the problem. In order to offer these patients another gait correction option, University of Pittsburgh researchers are studying if WalkAide, a pager-sized electronic stimulating device that can be worn inconspicuously under a pair of pants, works to fix a patients gait just as well.

The study is seeking 15-20 participants over the age of 18 who have experienced a stroke within the last year and developed foot drop as a result of that stroke. Participants must be able to walk at least 10 meters, either with or without a cane or a walker. Over a six-month period, each participant will need to attend six appointments at the Institute for Rehabilitation Research at 23rd and Jane Streets on Pittsburgh's South Side. Those who complete the study will receive $25 to cover their travel costs.

For more information or to find out if you qualify for the study, please call 412-648-6666.


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