Essential tremor suffers get relief from gyroglove
Parkinson's disease and essential tremor are both nervous system disorder that affects movement. A technology out of England is helping patients regain control.
Gloves with built-in spinning gyroscopes are helping people with Parkinson’s disease and essential tremor regain control of their hands.
Both of the conditions can cause patients’ hands to shake so much that everyday tasks such as eating and drinking become difficult or impossible.
Sue Whitehouse was diagnosed with essential tremor five years ago and now needs help with any action needing fine motor skills.
Sue Whitehouse says, ” I can’t paint my nails anymore, my daughter does them for me. I can’t cut my nails; I can’t cut my toe nails.”
Gyroglove’s developer, Dr. Faii Ong, was inspired to tackle hand tremors while caring for a 103-year-old woman in the hospital who was struggling to feed herself soup.
Dr. Faii Ong, Founder and C.E.O. of Gyrogear, says, “It’s striking that even at medical school we’re not taught about this condition called essential tremor and yet there are millions, literally 200 million people globally living with this condition every single day of their lives.”
Mounted on the back of the hand, the gyroscope counters any tremor, smoothing out the shakes. Patients simply put it on and turn it on.
Sue says, “There’s all sorts of things that i can’t do but this…these (gyrogloves) are going to enable me to do a bit more and keep more of my independence instead of losing it day by day.”
Dr. Faii Ong says, “We have an aerospace-grade gyroscope in this. It functions exactly like a top. So as a top spins it tries to stay upright. So in the same way with this the glove actually counteracts your hand tremors immediately and instantaneously. So as you shake it automatically cancels out the shakes.”
Dr. Ong put his medical career on hold to develop the product which he hopes will be given medical approval in the U.S and E.U next year.
Alan Schulte, Staff Occupational Therapist Regional Rehab Institute, says with the aging population, new technology is always welcomed.
“As a society do you know we have more and more people that are living longer and they’re healthy but they may have the trimmers the balance difficulties they want to stay active and they want to stay independent so kind of a private sector is getting involved in coming up with new products and tools to help and be effective so hopefully his therapist we can keep up with the trends and be the ones I can offer that people,” says Schulte.
Schulte demonstrated the KB Trainer, a walker to help with overall balance. It was developed by a local women at the YMCA. It is used to assist patients of Parkinson’s disease.