Two new robots help children recover at hospital

Assist in regaining movement in arm, hand, wrist

(ANSA) - Rome, February 10 - Two new physical-therapy robots to help young patients regain movement in their arms, hands, and wrists were inaugurated Wednesday at Bambin Gesù Children's Hospital in Santa Marinella, a coastal town about an hour north of Rome.
    The robots will be used by at least six patients a day in one-hour sessions to help support and correct arm movements.
    The patients have motor function deficits from neurological damage, as a result of congenital diseases like cerebral palsy or non-congenital sources such as head trauma. Motor function deficits affect 200,000 children in Italy and 20,000 in the Lazio region alone.
    "It's a play approach," said rehabilitation laboratory director Enrico Castelli.
    "The child doesn't realise he's doing it; in one session they do more than a thousand movements," he said.
    The machines are the first of their kind in the region of Lazio, and were purchased with funding from the non-profit Fondazione Roma.
    "Functional recovery comes thanks to two robots of the latest technology," said Fondazione Roma Chairman Emmanuele F.M.
    "It shows how applied scientific research today represents the principal tool of progress".


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