”Dancing” with the Tutor System – LegTutor for Parkinson’s Patients

An interesting study was published in the ”Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair Journal” by Ryan P. Duncan, MPT and
Gammon M. Earhart, PhD of the Washington University School of Medicine, Program in Physical Therapy in St Louis, MO in January 2012.
 Tango dancing has been effective in improving measures of physical function in people with Parkinson disease (PD). However, all previous studies were institution-based, tested participants on medication, and employed short-term interventions. The Objective of this study was to  determine the effects of a 12-month community-based tango program for individuals with PD on disease severity and physical function. Participants were assessed off anti-Parkinson medication. The  Conclusions were that improvements in the Tango group were apparent off medication, suggesting that long-term participation in tango may modify progression of disability in PD.
The solution to “use it or loose it” is motivating intensive exercise practice. While the ”dance” therapy approach is interesting it is known that the ”TUTOR” approach also has a very good track record of achieving desired results for Parkinson’s patients.
The newly developed HANDTUTOR and its sister devices (ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR, 3DTUTOR) have become a key system in neuromuscular rehabilitation for patients with Parkinson’s disease. These innovative devices implement an impairment based program with augmented motion feedback that encourages motor learning through intensive active exercises and movement practice. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR consist of wearable glove and braces that detect limb movement showing the patient how much active or assisted active movement they are actually doing. The custom made software uses special rehabilitation games to set a new target for this movement in terms of the patient’s ability to move their affected limb. The devices then measure the limb movement and give feedback on the success of the patient in trying to gain this new movement objective. In this  way the patient is given movement feedback that lets him understand which effort is more successful in allowing him to move his affected limb again. In this  way the TUTOR system provides exercises that are challenging and motivating and allow for repetitive and intensive exercise practice. The HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR are now part of the rehabilitation program of leading U.S. German, Italian, French, UK and other foreign hospitals. See WWW.HANDTUTOR.COM for more information.
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