Original ArticlesCan powered exoskeletons improve gait and balance in multiple sclerosis? A retrospective studyRusso, Margheritaa; Maggio, Maria Graziab; Naro, Antoninoc; Portaro, Simonad; Porcari, Brunoc; Balletta, Tinac; De Luca, Rosariac; Raciti, Loredanac; Calabrò, Rocco SalvatorecAuthor Information aNeurology Unit, AO Papardo bStudio di Psicologia Relazionale e Riabilitazione Psicologica cIRCCS Centro Neurolesi ‘Bonino Pulejo’ dAssociazione Italiana Assistenza Spastici, Messina, Italy Received 8 November 2020 Accepted 5 January 2021 Correspondence to Rocco Salvatore Calabrò, MD, PhD, IRCCS Centro Neurolesi “Bonino-Pulejo”, S.S. 113, Contrada Casazza, 98124 Messina, Italy, Tel: +39 090 60128840; fax: +39 090 60128950; e-mail: [email protected] International Journal of Rehabilitation Research: June 2021 - Volume 44 - Issue 2 - p 126-130 doi: 10.1097/MRR.0000000000000459 Buy Metrics Abstract Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurologic disorder that can profoundly influence mobility, independence and quality of life. Gait dysfunction in MS is common, resulting in an increased risk of losing walking ability. Robotic exoskeletons have been developed to offer a new form of locomotor training. The aim of our study was to investigate the effectiveness of the powered exoskeleton (Ekso) in improving gait and balance in patients affected by MS. Twenty patients with MS (mean ± SD: age = 43.7 ± 10.3 years; 66.7% male) were enrolled in this retrospective study. They were divided into two groups, matched for demographic data (age and sex) and medical characteristics (disease duration and Expanded Disability Status Scale), but differing for the type of rehabilitation training performed. Group 1 [experimental group (EG)] received gait training with the Ekso device, whereas group 2 (control group) performed traditional gait training. Although both trainings led to a significant improvement in the ability to walk and balance, only in the EG a significant improvement in walking speed (10 Meter Walk test; P = 0.002), in person’s mobility (Timed Up and Go test; P = 0.002), and in the perception of mental well-being (MSQoL-M; P = 0.004), with a good usability and acceptance of the device, was found. Powered exoskeletons could be considered a valuable tool to improve functional outcomes and get the therapeutic goal in patients with MS. Copyright © 2021 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.