A ”Pacemaker” for Parkinson’s Patients

In line with the international effort to combat symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, it was announced on June 20, 2012 that Professor Hagai Bergman of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University’s neurobiology department had been able to surgically implant a battery operated neurostimulator, similar to a heart pacemaker, to deliver electrical stimulation to specific parts of the brain that control movement. This tiny device blocks the abnormal nerve signals that cause the severe shaking and other symptoms that Parkinson’s patients experience. About 0.4% of the Israeli Parkinson’s population had already received the new device but there was further adjustment necessary.

For Parkinson’s patients that are not acceptable for this procedure and for those that are still waiting for the special surgery other methods are needed to counter the debilitating movements that are prevalent with this disease. When these latter patients are in need of physical therapy solutions the TUTOR system comes in handy. The TUTORs, which consist of the HANDTUTOR, ARMTUTOR, LEGTUTOR and 3DTUTOR, are comfortable ergonomic gloves and braces placed on various limbs of the body and are connected to a computer with dedicated software that allows the patient to get intensive exercises. These exercises are in the form of challenging games that allow the patient to practice isolated and/or interjoint coordination exercises. Controlled exercise practice will help to prevent the development of compensatory movement patterns. The dedicated software allows the therapist to fully customize the exercises to the patient’s movement ability. In addition the the therapist can objectively and quantitatively evaluate and report on treatment progress. The rehabilitation system optimizes the patient’s motor, sensory and cognitive performance and allows the patient to better perform everyday functional tasks to improve their quality of life.

The TUTORs are currently used in leading U.S. and European hospitals and clinics to treat patients that have Parkinson’s disease as well as CP, MS, stroke, brain and spinal cord injury and other upper and lower limb disabilities.

The TUTORs are one of the most cost effective physical therapy tools on the market and are fully certified by the FDA and CE. They are available for adults as well as children and can be used at home via telerehabilitation. See WWW.MEDITOUCH.CO.IL for more information.

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