Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute announced today the results of a pilot study demonstrating use of a virtual therapeutic sailing simulator as an important part of rehabilitation following a spinal cord injury (SCI).
Published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, findings show that using a hands-on sailing simulator over a 12-week period helped participants safely learn sailing skills in a controlled environment, ultimately improving their quality of life by gaining the ability to participate in a recreational sport.
For many individuals living with paralysis, participation in recreational sports may seem impossible or even unimportant. This study is one of the first to scientifically quantify the positive impact of therapeutic sailing following a spinal cord injury, including a significant increase in overall self-confidence and sense of accomplishment among participants.
“Sports and recreation are a very important component of the rehabilitation process, not only for general physical well-being, but for improving overall quality of life for patients who have sustained spinal cord injuries,” says Dr. Albert Recio, study author and physician in the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute. “We are very pleased with the results of this unique training program and hope that this type of recreational tool can also help in the rehabilitation of patients with other disabilities.”
Study participants had chronic spinal cord injuries that occurred more than six months prior to beginning use of the Virtual Sailing VSail-Trainer, the first sailing simulator available for people with paralysis. The stationary, motorized sailboat cockpit features specialized software that enables patients to navigate the boat around a virtual course in the same way as an actual sailboat in the water.
Electronic sensors give the participant real-time feedback that matches their movements and allows them to control wind strength and water conditions. Participants had no previous sailing experience and worked with the sailing simulator for one hour per week for 12 weeks.
During each session, a therapist assessed several physical and neurological indicators and compared the results to measurements taken prior to beginning the training program. All participants completed a questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study designed to evaluate their quality of life and self-esteem.Results showed that:
Following completion of the training program, all subjects were able to successfully sail and perform specific maneuvers on the water at a sailing center in Baltimore, Md.
The results of this study provide preliminary evidence that the use of the Virtual Sailing’s VSail-Training technology in a safe, controlled environment enables individuals with SCI to learn the skills required to sail on the water and can result in quality of life improvements. Of note, the subjects were able to participate in a sports activity with their respective family members and experienced a sense of optimism about the future.
This pilot study involved only people with SCI; however, in principle this approach could be used with people with a wide range of injuries including loss of limbs and brain injury. Additional research will be required to develop the relevant protocols.
This study was supported by the Kennedy Krieger Institute‘s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Melbourne, Australia.
About the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury
The International Center for Spinal Cord Injury (ICSCI) at Kennedy Krieger Institute was founded in 2005 on the philosophy that individuals with paralysis can always hope for recovery of sensation, function, mobility, and independence, months and even years after injury. ICSCI is one of the first facilities in the world to combine innovative research with a unique focus on restoration and rehabilitation for children and adults with chronic paralysis. More than 2,000 patients from the U.S. and around the world have received treatment at the Center.
About the Kennedy Krieger Institute
Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord, the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD, serves more than 20,000 individuals each year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with developmental concerns mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop while pioneering new interventions and earlier diagnosis.
Media Contact:Megan Feffer
Megan Feffer | EurekAlert!
Can 'smart toilets' be the next health data wellspring?
14.11.2019 | Morgridge Institute for Research
Novel mathematical framework provides a deeper understanding of how drugs interact
14.11.2019 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.
New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...
If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.
Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...
Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...
In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.
An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...
05.11.2019 | Event News
30.10.2019 | Event News
02.10.2019 | Event News
14.11.2019 | Materials Sciences
14.11.2019 | Health and Medicine
14.11.2019 | Materials Sciences