Robotic Pelvic Assist Device to Help Improving Stability in Parkinson’s Patients

Robotic Pelvic Assist Device to Help Improving Stability in Parkinsons Patients

Tethered Pelvic Assist Device (TPAD) system can help Parkinson’s patients to improve their walking stability just in one training session.

Researchers at Columbia University reported on December 27, 2017, that they have developed a system to help Parkinson’s patients in improving their gait stability. TPAD device is a lightweight wearable cable-driven robot.  It applies forces on the pelvis in various directions as a subject walks on a treadmill. These repeated and unexpected pelvic perturbations are expected to help patients in developing reactive and adaptive responses during a training program increasing their gait stability and reducing the risk of a fall outside of training.

Fall rates in adults with Parkinson’s disease are twice as high as those in healthy adults of a comparable age. Advances in technologies to develop new strategies to reduce the number of falls could improve lifestyle of a patient. “Most falls in Parkinson’s disease are reported during walking, and gait disorders are one of the hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease, but previous studies on Parkinson’s disease subjects have focused on responses to balance perturbations only while standing,” said Sunil Agrawal, a researcher involved in the study.

According to Wearable Medical Devices Market report published by Coherent Market Insights, medical devices which assisting patients with neurodegenerative disorders could help in stabilizing lifestyles f affected patients. Researchers believe that such types of training programs could allow Parkinson’s patients to develop control strategies to avoid falls reducing the risk of injury. “Our data showed that one single session of perturbation-based balance training produced acute effects that ameliorated gait instability in Parkinson’s disease patients,” says Dario Martelli, first author on the study.

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