Background: Little is known about delay in regaining gait ability at a chronic stage after brain injury. In this study, we report on a single patient who regained the gait ability during 2 months of intensive rehabilitation starting 2 years after a brain injury.
Methods and results: A 40-year-old male patient diagnosed with viral encephalitis underwent comprehensive rehabilitation until 2 years after onset. However, he could not even sit independently and presented with severe physical deconditioning and severe ataxia. To understand his neurological state, 4 neural tracts related to gait function were reconstructed, and based on the state of these neural tracts, we decided that the patient had the neurological potential to walk independently. Therefore, we assumed that the main reasons for gait inability in this patient were severe physical deconditioning and truncal ataxia. Consequently, the patient underwent the following intensive rehabilitative therapy: administration of drugs for control of ataxia (topiramate, clonazepam, and propranolol) and movement therapy for physical conditioning and gait training. As a result, after 2 months of rehabilitation, he was able to walk independently on an even floor, with improvement of severe physical deconditioning and truncal ataxia.
Conclusion: We described the rehabilitation program in a single patient who regained the gait ability during 2 months of intensive rehabilitation starting 2 years after a brain injury.