A new device is helping Parkinson's disease patients improve walking, balance, confidence and quality of life.
Hamilton, AL (PRWEB) Jeanne Crace, 70, who has five daughters, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren is now finding new freedom in mobility despite Parkinson's disease.
Parkinson's Disease remains a mystery of medical science. For reason's unknown, certain brain cells stop producing a substance called Dopamine, which affects an individual's movement, strength and balance. Parkinson's disease affects between 1 and 1.5 million Americans. Each year, 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
Jeanne moved with her husband Dan to a 40 acre hobby farm in Hamilton, Alabama in 1983 and together they established a decorating and remodeling business. In 1996 Jeanne was diagnosed with Parkinsonism. Within 3 years her condition worsened to include severe shaking and loss of her beautiful smile.
By 2001, Jeanne's stooped posture, freezing, and shuffling started to get progressively worse. Four of their five daughters live far off with their families. Up until 2004, Jeanne and Dan were able to travel and visit each of the children once a year. By 2004 Jeanne's condition made these long trips too difficult and tiring.
In April, 2009, Dan found the GaitAid Virtual Walker from MediGait, a new device that improves walking for Parkinson's disease on the internet. Dan says, "Being a skeptic from past disappointments, I called Medigait support and discussed the system and program. At that point I ordered the device and put it to use. Jeanne's freeze-ups are almost non existent now, with only an occasional occurrence if she is over tired or walking in a crowd, and her shuffle has improved to a steady gait. This appears to be a lasting effect and I see no signs of regression between training periods.
With her new improvements Jeanne is much more confident and more involved in our social activities which involves playing mountain music. Yesterday she mentioned trying to play the fiddle again. I believe she can accomplish this. After 3 months of training her gait and freeze-ups have improved so much we recently took a 5 day trip to visit friends and family in Arkansas. Jeanne and I are thankful to have come across this product."
Jeanne says, "I am still getting used to my new freedom while walking. I find myself unconsciously reaching for Dan's hand for support. I still use my cane for that extra secure feeling during my off times or if I become over tired and shaky. I am looking forward to some more travel and the ability to participate in more fun with the kids when we're together. I still train with my virtual walker most mornings unless I am having a bad off day."
The GaitAid device is a non-invasive, risk-free aid which brings about a lasting improvement. The portable GaitAid unit hooks onto the patient's pants. A computer processor inside the device measures walking movement. The processor feedbacks the walking movement by providing visual and auditory cues through special glasses and earphones. To train with the GaitAid, one takes a walk for 5-30 minutes while wearing the device. The feedback mechanism provides rewarding stimuli for good movement making the training enjoyable. Patients often report high motivation during their training.
Often the improvement is immediate and builds up significantly during the first two to four weeks of daily practice.
The GaitAid is available for a 30 day trial period from MediGait's website: www.medigait.com
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