Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. While there is no cure for Parkinson's disease, there are a variety of medical devices available to help manage its symptoms and improve quality of life. In honor of World Parkinson's Disease Day, we've compiled a list of five medical devices that can be particularly helpful for those living with Parkinson's disease. These devices range from simple aids to more advanced technology, but all have the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of those affected by this challenging condition.
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) Medical Devices for Parkinson's Disease
Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) devices are a type of medical device that are used to treat the symptoms of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia. DBS is typically used when medication alone is not sufficient in controlling symptoms, and it can improve a range of symptoms, including tremors, rigidity, bradykinesia, and dyskinesia. DBS has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment option for many people with neurological disorders, but it is important to carefully evaluate the risks and benefits before undergoing the procedure.
Levodopa Infusion Pumps
Levodopa is a medication commonly used to manage the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease, but it can cause side effects such as dyskinesia (involuntary movements) when taken orally. Infusion pumps deliver a continuous dose of levodopa directly into the bloodstream, bypassing the digestive system and reducing the risk of dyskinesia. Levodopa infusion pumps can help to improve motor function and quality of life for people with Parkinson's disease, especially those who experience severe motor fluctuations or dyskinesia with oral medication alone.
"Personal KinetiGraph" (PKG) device.
The PKG is a wristwatch-like device that can be worn continuously to monitor movement symptoms in Parkinson's disease, such as tremors, dyskinesia, bradykinesia, and other motor symptoms. The device uses sensors to collect data on movement patterns and can track medication use, providing a comprehensive overview of symptom severity throughout the day. The data collected by the PKG can be analyzed by healthcare professionals to help tailor treatment plans and optimize medication dosages to manage symptoms more effectively.
The SpeechVive device is a small electronic device that is worn in the ear like a hearing aid. The device works by providing a background noise that helps to trigger the "Lombard effect," which is a natural reflex that causes people to speak louder in noisy environments. For people with Parkinson's disease, the SpeechVive device can help to improve speech volume, clarity, and articulation by providing a cue to speak louder. The device has been shown to be effective in clinical studies and is an example of how technology can be used to improve speech therapy outcomes for people with Parkinson's disease.
The WalkAide is a small electronic device that is worn on the lower leg, just below the knee. The device uses functional electrical stimulation (FES) to stimulate the nerves and muscles that control foot and ankle movement. This stimulation can help to improve gait and balance by reducing foot drop and other gait abnormalities that are common in Parkinson's disease. The WalkAide is a non-invasive and portable device that can be used at home or in physical therapy sessions to improve gait and balance in people with Parkinson's disease.
While there is no cure for this disease, medical devices offer hope and relief for patients and their families. These mentioned devices are just a few examples of the many innovative technologies that are being developed to help those living with Parkinson's disease. As research continues to advance, we can expect to see even more effective and accessible medical devices that will help improve the lives of those affected by this condition.
Want to learn more about Vita Group and our medical device development? Book a call to meet with our CEO Jason Scherer.