New wearable tech from Western University may hold big benefits for people with Parkinson’s

A new prototype for wearable tremor suppression gloves has a team of Western University researchers believing real change is on the way for the more than 6 million people in the world afflicted by Parkinson’s disease.
a year ago

March 2, 2018

A new prototype for wearable tremor suppression gloves has a team of Western University researchers believing real change is on the way for the more than 6 million people in the world afflicted by Parkinson’s disease.

Ana Luisa Trejos, an Electrical and Computer Engineering professor at Western, and members of her Wearable Biomechatronics Laboratory Group have developed a novel approach for designing wearable technology that allows those with Parkinson’s to exhibit improved motor control while reducing or even restricting involuntary muscle contractions commonly associated with the long-term and degenerative neurological disorder. More than 25 per cent of people with Parkinson’s disease have an associated action tremor.

Previous studies from Trejos and her team show suppression devices targeting elbows or wrists often produce exaggerated tremors in the fingers, which causes even more difficulty for those with Parkinson’s.

” If you have seen anybody with Parkinson’s that has tremors, they have them in their entire body but it’s the ones in their fingers that really prevent them from performing the activities of daily living,” explains Trejos, also a key investigator at Western’s Bone and Joint Institute.

Instead of suppressing tremors, which is what most other tremor suppression devices do, these new personalized gloves actually track voluntary movement so if a person is trying to accomplish a particular task, the glove allows the action to happen while minimizing the tremor.

Photo: Western University's Yue Zhou models new prototype for wearable tremor suppression glove. The doctoral student from the Wearable Biomechatronics Laboratory Group 3D-printed its key components. (Credit: Western University)

“Our gloves don’t suppress all movements, which is what most other wearable tech systems do,” says Trejos. “They are either suppressing or not suppressing movement so when a person is trying to perform a specific task, the devices actually prevent them from performing the action they are trying to perform. They have to act against it. Our gloves actually allow the voluntary movement to happen and at the same time, prevent the tremor from occurring.”

The new gloves will be custom designed for both hands of each patient to maximize the benefits of the wearable technology. The prototype was created specifically for the left hand of Western doctoral student Yue Zhou, who 3D-printed its key components. Mary Jenkins from Western’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry and Michael Naish from Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Western also collaborated on the project.

“While collecting data, we have seen first-hand that people with Parkinson’s get really frustrated when they can’t do something on their own and I feel our glove will allow them to get back to their daily living,” says Trejos. “It can be very frustrating to not be able to eat or button a shirt on your own. Or even draw. Things we take for granted. By creating a glove that allows people to perform these actions while suppressing the tremors, I think they could go back to being much more independent in their own homes for a far longer period of time.”

This project was supported by the Peter C. Maurice Fellowship in Biomedical Engineering.

Source: Western University

Read more
Loading...

Comments

No comments to display.

Related posts

Toyota Mobility Foundation announces finalists in $4 million global Mobility Unlimited Challenge

The Challenge invited engineers, innovators, and designers from across the world to submit designs for game-changing technologies, incorporating intelligent systems, to improve the mobility and independence of people with lower-limb paralysis. Central to the Challenge is the importance of collaboration with end-users to develop devices which will integrate seamlessly into users’ lives and environments, while being comfortable and easy to use, enabling greater independence and increased participation in daily life.

PRIMA Call for Proposals: Bridging the gap between potential and actual irrigation performance in the Mediterranean

In the Mediterranean basin, water balances and water used for irrigation including irrigation performance is often lower than potential at the farm and at the water users association level. This gap is evident for average performance, but it is particularly important when the dispersion among farmers and their associations is considered. Attaining Sustainable Mediterranean irrigation requires to assess the real water balances in the area of irrigation, amount of water available for irrigation ensuring that water levels are environmentally safe for ecosystems and other needs. Furthermore, optimising irrigation performance requires to combine technological, managerial and governance innovations taking into account the availability, safety and quality of water resources, existing institutional arrangements, as well as crop agronomy planning.
Application Deadline in a month

PRIMA Call for Proposals: Agro-food Value Chain 2019

Proposals should focus on products with high added value, most exposed to fraud and valorise productions that have been discontinued but hold nutritional value and are important for biodiversity conservation. Proposal should also aim at creating trans-national networks of laboratories, validating and harmonizing protocols, sharing open-data on food products of the Mediterranean tradition, providing a robust support for certification and control bodies, and building capacity in key enabling technologies related to authenticity and traceability.
Application Deadline in a month

African Development Bank Group approves $25 million Equity Investment in Fund for Renewable Energy Projects in Africa

ARPF projects will focus on mature technologies including wind, solar PV, small to medium hydro, geothermal and biomass. These would include grid-connected independent power producers (“IPPs”), and decentralized energy projects (commercial & industrial solar, mini-grids and solar home systems companies). The Fund’s strategy is to prioritize projects with a clear timeline to financial close, with emphasis on de-risking early stage greenfield projects.

European call for proposals: Innovative utilisation of aquatic biomass and Novel aquaculture production systems

The proposals should seek to be complementary with or adding to other projects funded under FP7 and Horizon 2020, ERA-NETs, BBI JU or other funding schemes, both ongoing and recently finished. They should reflect awareness of the objectives of running projects in relevant fields to avoid overlap. Proposed projects must demonstrate industry involvement.
Application Deadline in 2 months

European call for proposals: Sustainable and Resilient agriculture for food and non-food systems

Based on the two previous calls, the FACCE SURPLUS partners decided to further advance their successful funding scheme with a third call of the initiative in order to complete the portfolio of projects and filling remaining research and funding gaps. Having in mind the research already conducted in FACCE SURPLUS projects, this call at the end of the initiative aims at further improving collaboration in the area of food and nonfood biomass production and transformation systems.
Application Deadline in 2 months

A Quick Look At The Latest Happenings In The Cloud Integration Market

As an emerging trend of technology the field of cloud Integration is steadily expanding. The global cloud Integration Market is growing approximately at a CAGR of 8% during 2018-2023 and it is expected to grow at a highest CAGR during the forecast period.

A Close Look At The Latest Research Trends Within The 3D Printing Metals Market

3D printing involves the creation of a 3 dimensional object by adding successive layers of a particular material one on top of each other until the overall object has been formed. Metals constitute one of the main materials used for 3D printing.

Call for Applications: Go Green in the City 2019

The Go Green in the City challenge is now entering its 9th year running and our 2019 edition is going to be even bigger, better and bolder! We are looking for students like you from around the world who are willing to put their skills and ideas to the test.
Application Deadline in 4 months