By Stephanie Stahl

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New high tech, robotic therapy is helping stroke survivors regain movement. 3 On Your Side Medical Reporter Stephanie Stahl has the story.

Every 40 seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke. Many patients lose function on one side of their body. It’s the leading cause of long term disability. But doctors are hoping robotics can help stroke survivors get back what they’ve lost.

Krista Stanton had to put her career as FBI agent on hold three years ago when a stroke paralyzed the left side of her body. Opening a door is still a major challenge.

“I’d love to be able to tie my shoes,” said Krista.

She is hoping a robotic device called the Amadeo will give her better control of her left hand. Her fingers are on levers. When she moves them to play a video game, the lever helps her complete the motion.

Doctors believe repeating movements can retrain the brain to send clearer signals to the arm.

“And helps the person gradually re-establish control over the limb,” said Dr. Joel Stein, a stroke researcher.

And Ellen Donaldson is hoping to lose the cane she’s been using since suffering a stroke in 2007.

She’s trying out a robot called the Tibion Bionic Leg that senses her motion and helps her walk.

“I came home excited, told my husband I was able to walk up the steps normally,” said Ellen.

Krista also sees some progress.

“Ultimately I’m hoping to get everything back and get back to work,” said Krista.

There are a variety of robotics being tested at rehab facilities across the Delaware Valley.

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation in Allentown currently offers the bionic leg.

Reported By: Stephanie Stahl


Arm Robot Information

Leg Robot Information

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation

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