Doctors at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital have developed lightweight and easy-to-use Parkinson’s gloves that can automatically reduce tremors, allowing Parkinson’s Disease patients to enjoy social life and reducing side effects from medication and risk from brain surgery.
Tremors, slowness, and stiffness are the noticeable symptoms of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD), especially the hand tremors found in 70 percent of patients. PD patients become disabled and lack quality of life. Currently, there are 10 million PD patients worldwide, 150,000 of whom are in Thailand.
Parkinson’s disease is currently treated with a cocktail of medications, which is unable to reduce all the tremors. Some patients with very strong tremors may need brain surgery — an undesirable option due to its high cost and many side effects. This conundrum has inspired a team of researchers at the Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University, led by Prof. Dr. Roongroj Bhidayasiri and Asst. Prof. Dr. Onanong Phokaewvarangkul to research and develop the prototype of “Tremor-reducing Parkinson’s gloves” in 2014, which was patented as a portable tremor-measuring and reducing device using electrical muscle stimulation in 2017. Many research articles have been published in international medical journals to support the efficiency of the device. The team has now succeeded in developing the “5th generation tremor-reducing Parkinson’s gloves” which are lightweight, easy to wear, effective, and cheaper than the similar imported device.
“The tremor-reducing Parkinson’s gloves are the first medical device that can help reduce tremors in the hands of PD patients through automatic electric stimulation of the hand muscles without having to increase their medication and reduce the risk of brain surgery,” discussed Asst. Prof. Dr. Onanong. Consisting of three main components: a glove with the muscle stimulator installed, a control panel, and a mobile phone with an application to control the device and store the tremors and stimulation for analysis, the Parkinson’s gloves work via Bluetooth connection.
The innovation was awarded the National Innovation Award in Society and Environment (Private Sector) 2022 from the National Innovation Agency (Public Organization), and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Innovation.
Read the full article at https://www.chula.ac.th/en/highlight/109695/
For more information, contact Prof. Dr. Roongroj Bhidayasiri, The Excellence Center for Parkinson’s Disease & Related Disorders, King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital, mobile phone +668-1107-9999, or visit www.chulapd.org