Translational Biomedicine

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Robotic Therapies for Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

Cristina Bayon, Rafael Raya, Sergio Lerma Lara, Oscar Ramirez, Ignacio Serrano J and Eduardo Rocon

Title: This paper presents a systematic review of robotic devices and therapies for cerebral palsy (CP), trying to shed some light on the present literature on robot-based CP rehabilitation.

Background: Recent publications have demonstrated that robot-assisted therapies may constitute an effective tool for the compensation and rehabilitation of the functional skills of people with CP. The most important robotic devices for lower and upper limb rehabilitation were selected, specifying the assisted therapies, experiments done with them, and their results in children with CP.

Methods: Scientific articles were obtained by means of an extensive search in electronic databases, primarily PubMed and Scopus. Papers published from the year 2000 to 2015 were considered for inclusion. The search was performed by using the following keywords in combination: robot, Cerebral Palsy, children, and therapies. Moreover, some web pages about CP organizations were used to complete the review.

Conclusions: There is still a lack of randomized clinical trials with a representative number of subjects, which makes it difficult to evaluate the impact of robot-based therapy, especially the long-term effects. The inclusion of cognitive aspects into the therapies and the design of virtual scenarios in combination with robotic devices provide promising results.