Technology Allows Wheelchair Bound Parkinson's Patients to Walk

May 09, 2019, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Grayscale Photo of Wheelchair

New technology is allowing patients who have been reliant on wheelchairs to walk on their own, and has also helped others to avoid repeated falls. The device which provides electrical jolts to the spine have transformed the lives of the patients in the trials.

The Canadian research sees electrodes implanted into the spine of the Parkinson’s disease patients in order to stimulate it. This stimulation allows the patients to walk smoothly without freezing up or falling which are common symptoms of the disease, and which can cause life altering injuries to individuals. Patients have described the therapy making  a ‘night and day’ change to their quality of life. Patients have resumed walking, or walk without their canes and aids.

Researcher Dr. Mander Jog has only conducted limited trials and strongly states that the research is in its early days and is far from final or proven. He does indicate that the results are promising though for those who are enrolled in the trials. The two wheelchair bound patients were able to go on vacation under their own steam which is life changing for them. The study found that after 6 months the patients and improved step length and speed, confidence in walking, better balance, and greater ease standing up from a seated position. ‘Freezing up’ of patients was almost completely eliminated.

Parkinson’s is a result of the brain failing to produce enough dopamine which is the chemical that carries signals between brain cells controlling movement. Symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, slowness and stiffness, balance issues, and rigidity.

It is hoped that this research and its results prove successful for more patients and that the applications can be used for other neurodegenerative diseases.





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