NUI Galway study shows wearable device capable of managing mobility issues in Parkinson’s Disease


cueStim uses sensory electrical stimulation to prevent freezing of gait



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23 January 2019 | 0

Engineers and scientists at NUI Galway in collaboration with clinical professionals from NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) have carried out a clinical study which has produced promising results for people with Parkinson’s disease with mobility issues.

The research found that ‘fixed’ rhythmic sensory electrical stimulation (sES) designed to prevent ‘freezing of gait’ (movement abnormality), significantly reduced the time taken for a person with Parkinson’s disease to complete a walking task and the number of freezing of gait episodes which occurred, helping them to walk more effectively.

The study involved a group of people with Parkinson’s testing how effective the sES electronic device was in helping them to manage this debilitating motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease. The findings of the study were published in the Journal of Healthcare Engineering.

Prof Gearoid O Laighin and the research team from the Human Movement Laboratory in CURAM at NUI Galway have a programme of research developing a suite of unobtrusive, wearable electronic devices to help manage this debilitating motor symptom of Parkinson’s disease.

As part of this work, the project team have developed a novel wearable electronic device worn around the waist, called ‘cueStim’, designed to prevent or relieve freezing of gait, commonly described by people with Parkinson’s as a feeling as if their feet are stuck or glued to the floor preventing them from moving forward.

“We are now seeking additional clinical partners to work with NUI Galway in carrying out a comprehensive long-term clinical evaluation of cueStim in enhancing the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease through a funded programme of research,” said Prof O Laighin.

The study was jointly funded by Science Foundation Ireland and the Framework 7 programme of the European Commission and was carried out in collaboration with Stobhill Hospital and Glasgow Royal Infirmary within NHSGGC.

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