Robotic Balance Training System Assists Local Spinal Cord Injury Patients


AUSTIN, Texas – (July 3, 2012) – The Ascension Seton Brain & Spine Recovery Center, a member of the Ascension Seton, is helping those with spinal cord injuries get one step closer to being able to walk with a new, state-of-the-art piece of rehabilitation equipment.

The ZeroG System, the only one in Central Texas, is a balance training technology which provides body-weight support. It helps with a person’s posture, balance and ability to move about independently.

The new technology is the first-ever gait and balance-assisted robotic system. Walking in the ZeroG is similar to walking in a reduced gravity environment. The device can detect if a person starts to fall forward or backward and will catch them so they are not injured.

The computerized brain of the system makes up to 1,200 adjustments per second.
It uses a sophisticated pulley system capable of holding up to 350 pounds.

Click here to see how the ZeroG system works.

“We’re discovering that using advanced equipment like the ZeroG helps force a level of function otherwise not possible, that propagates recovery among those with certain spinal cord injuries,” explained Dr. Roger Parthasarathy, medical director of the Ascension Seton Brain and Spine Recovery Center. “Having a mechanism that helps them with their posture and limb strength allows them to ambulate and is an added benefit to recovery.”

The high-tech, $220,000 piece of equipment was donated by the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation (LSPF), a long-time partner of Ascension Seton.

“Thanks to the generosity of the wonderful people of Central Texas, LSPF was able to donate the ZeroG system to the Ascension Seton Brain & Spine Recovery Center,” said Doug English, founder. “We’re committed to providing hope to those with spinal cord injuries in the form of cutting-edge research and state-of-the-art rehabilitation equipment.”

Ascension Seton Brain and Spine Recovery Center started using the ZeroG System June 15 and more than 200 patients will benefit from the new technology as part of their rehabilitation. It can also be used for patients who have suffered from a stroke or a traumatic brain injury.

“Ascension Seton’s partnership with the Lone Star Paralysis Foundation and their ‘cure approach’ allows us to provide the hope that patients need and will ultimately lead to a better recovery,” said Dr. Alex Valadka, CEO of the Ascension Seton Brain and Spine Institute.