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New devices may relieve hard-to-treat symptoms

New devices may relieve hard-to-treat symptoms

There are some novel research projects going on in the U.S. and Netherlands aimed at developing technologies to ease two Parkinson’s symptoms that are difficult to treat with medication.

These symptoms include freezing of gait and difficulties swallowing.

Vibrating socks have been developed as a novel cueing device that gives tactile stimuli to reduce freezing of gait without being visible for bystanders.

A soft, wearable, and wireless device called a therapeutic swallow sensor is being developed to assist the 80 percent of Parkinson’s patients who experience difficulty with swallowing.

The sensor is being designed to be worn on the upper chest. It will gently vibrate to remind people to swallow more and with greater force – strengthening the associated muscles of swallowing.

It is hoped this will improve swallowing function long term and reduce the risk of choking.