Author: Jolanta Skwaradowska     Published At: 16.07.2021

Sandra Niedźwiedź, M.Sc. on the podium of the "Open Doors" competition.

Graduate of the Faculty of Biomedical Engineering, Sandra Niedźwiedź, M.Sc. took second place in a national competition for the best scientific works on disabilities.

The „Dni Otwarte” (transl. Open Doors) competition was open to MA theses, research and projects on disability in its health, work and social dimensions. The submitted works corresponded to one of the competition categories: social and vocational rehabilitation; technological solutions for the disabled; medical rehabilitation; cultural meanings of disability.

The second place in the competition went to Sandra Niedźwiedź, M.Sc.,whose Master's thesis entitled the „Możliwości modyfikacji chodu za pomocą pobudzeń metrorytmicznych” (transl. Possibilities of modifying the gait using metrorhythmic stimulations) was awarded in the C category - technological solutions for people with disabilities. The thesis supervisor is Katarzyna Nowakowska-Lipiec, PhD. – The subject of the awarded Master’s thesis by Sandra Niedźwiedź, M.Sc., concerns the possibility to use sound stimuli to modify gait, in the aspect of using Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (RAS) in the process of gait re-education and rehabilitation - explains Katarzyna Nowakowska-Lipiec, PhD. - Experimental gait tests, using the Zebris FDM-T measuring treadmill, were carried out on a group of 36 healthy people and 7 patients suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Sandra Niedźwiedź, M.Sc, investigated short-term sonic rhythmic stimulation affecting gait modification - especially for those people who received information on how to respond to audible sound stimuli prior to the study.

- Sounds influence brain activity by coding and providing feedback cause a subconscious response to sound signals while affecting maintaining balance, increasing speed and gait frequency - says Sandra Niedźwiedź, M.Sc.

The results allowed to conclude that the short-term effect of metrorhythmic stimulation affects gait modification o in healthy people, however, in patients with multiple sclerosis, these changes were not noticeable, which may be related to demyelinating changes causing the loss of some functions of the nervous system, including disorders of the auditory-motor mechanism.

- However, the plasticity of the brain allows for modification of the structure and function of this system, so it can be assumed that the use of long-term impact of metrorhythmic sounds will bring benefits in the gait therapy of neurological patients - adds Sandra Niedźwiedź, M.Sc.

The research conducted by Sandra Niedźwiedź, as part of her Master's thesis, may support solutions in the therapy of people with disabilities. - I believe that the implementation of the set aim of the work allowed to better understand the mechanisms of impact of rhythmic auditory stimulation on gait. The results obtained may be important in the process of verifying therapeutic exercise programmes aimed at improving locomotor functions. The research conducted as part of the study work is undoubtedly innovative - emphasizes K. Nowakowska-Lipiec, PhD.

The idea of ​​the competition was to increase the interest in among the scientific community in matters of disabled people. The competition was organized by the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled People.


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