A loss of balance is one of the more noticeable and problematic symptoms of Parkinson’s disease since mobility issues can have a dramatic impact on quality of life and often necessitate in-home care in Centennial for seniors with PD. A new device that uses electric noise to stimulate parts of the brain may help restore mobility and prevent falls in PD patients.
Utilizing Electronic Stimulation
Developed by Swedish scientists, the wearable device works similarly to a Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) machine. The pocket-sized device stimulates the part of the brain responsible for balance without creating a balance disturbance in the process. Stimulation is provided to PD patients via patches placed behind the ears where the brain’s balance system is located.
Positive Results in Early Tests
Swedish researchers have tested the device on rats and on a small group of PD patients. In animal tests, many of the rats showed improved coordination and balance. The majority of the patients in the limited human trial also reported improvements with balance and related Parkinson’s symptoms. It’s hoped that the device will:
• Help PD patients with advanced mobility issues
• Reduce recurrences of motor and balance problems
• Improve overall quality of life for seniors with PD
Addressing Periods When Levodopa Isn’t Helping
Most Parkinson’s patients are treated with levodopa, a drug that increases levels of the hormone dopamine to help neurotransmitters communicate effectively within the brain. While levodopa can be effective, patients often report a reappearance of PD symptoms as the medication wears off. Electronic noise stimulation may be especially beneficial to patients between dosages of levodopa.
Researchers plan to expand testing of the device to include patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and similar conditions also affected by reduced levels of dopamine. The next stage in the testing of the electronic noise stimulation device is to expand human testing on a larger scale.
If Parkinson’s symptoms are making everyday tasks more challenging for your senior loved one, reach out to Home Care Assistance. In addition to Parkinson’s care, we offer Centennial dementia care local families can count on. Our comprehensive care services help seniors maintain physical, mental, and emotional wellness and are available on an as-needed or live-in basis. To learn more, please call 303.957.3100 and schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.