Medical researchers in the South have been awarded nearly £80,000 by leading medical charity Action Research to carry out clinical trials which may benefit stroke patients.
The grant, will enable the researchers based at Salisbury District Hospital in conjunction with Southampton General Hospital to study stroke rehabilitation.
Researchers will compare the general benefits of electrical stimulation as opposed to conventional treatment of ankle foot supports and also identify the most appropriate treatment for particular problems with walking.
One of the common effects of stroke is `dropped foot’ - the inability to lift the affected foot when walking - which means that patients have to drag the affected limb along the ground.
Conventional ankle foot supports are provided for these patients to improve their walking by correcting the dropped foot. However, patients can often reject such supports because they are ineffective or uncomfortable.
Doctor Ian Swain, leading the project, said: `` In previous work funded by Action Research, we have shown that, when timed with walking, electrical stimulation of the leg muscles offers significant improvement for patients, making their walking faster and less tiring.’’
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