Innovative Soft Robotic Wearable Enhances Walking Abilities for Individuals with Parkinson's Disease

Innovative Soft Robotic Wearable Enhances Walking Abilities for Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease

Author: Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences – Contact: seas.harvard.edu
Published: 2024/01/05
Peer-Reviewed: Yes – Publication Type: News
Table of Contents: Summary – Main Article – About/Author

Synopsis: Robotic exosuit eliminated gait freezing, a common and highly debilitating symptom in individuals with Parkinson’s disease. The robotic garment, worn around the hips and thighs, gives a gentle push to the hips as the leg swings, helping the patient achieve a longer stride. The device completely eliminated the participant’s freezing while walking indoors, allowing them to walk faster and further than they could without the garment’s help.

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Main Digest

Freezing is one of the most common and debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than 9 million people worldwide. When individuals with Parkinson’s disease freeze, they suddenly lose the ability to move their feet, often mid-stride, resulting in a series of staccato stutter steps that get shorter until the person stops altogether. These episodes are one of the biggest contributors to falls among people living with Parkinson’s disease. Today, freezing is treated with a range of pharmacological, surgical or behavioral therapies, none of [...]

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