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Bionic suit helping stroke survivors walk again

Updated: Friday, June 20, 2014 |
NEW JERSEY (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A bionic suit is helping stroke survivors learn to walk again.

30-year-old Dez Duru is up and walking, a month after having a stroke, and being forced into a wheelchair.

It's all thanks to a wearable robot suit called the EKSO-GT.

Dez is among a dozen stroke patients at the Kesslery Foundation in New Jersey, testing the battery-powered EKSO-Skeleton suit.

The robot is not walking for her; instead, when Dez shifts her weight, sensors in the suit are activated, which initiate steps.

Dr. Karen Nolan says getting the patient up and walking right after a stroke is key.

"It gives them the feeling of that left, right, left, right, walking pattern, to help their brain connect to the motion and hopefully we can get that change to stick," she said.

The technology has also been tested on patients with spinal cord injuries.

Researchers hope to test people with traumatic brain injuries next.
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