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GaitAid development 'assists people with Parkinson's'

GaitAid development 'assists people with Parkinson's'
12th August 2009

Questions surrounding the development of Parkinson's disease may be closer to being answered following the development of a piece of technology to assist walking for those with the condition.

MediGait, a company in the US, has created the GaitAid Virtual Walker, a sunglasses-based system which holds a computer processor inside the deviceto measure walking movement.

This processor is able to give feedback regarding the user's walking movement through the provision of visual and auditory cues through special glasses and earphones, improving strides and gait.

One successful user is Jeanne, a woman who suffered from "severe shaking" within three years of getting the condition in 1996.

Her husband Dan said of the product: "Jeanne's freeze-ups are almost nonexistent now, with only an occasional occurrence if she is over tired or walking in a crowd, and her shuffle has improved to a steady gait.

"This appears to be a lasting effect and I see no signs of regression between training periods."

Parkinson's disease has always been linked to exercise as a means of treating it, with the Nintendo Wii - the interactive games console - being a popular way which care homes have addressed this issue to get those with the condition to become more active.

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