Design and Validation of a Tremor Stabilizing Handle for Patients with Parkinson Disease and Essential Tremor
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by resting tremor and postural instability. Essential Tremor (ET) disease is another neurological disorder which causes involuntary and rhythmic shaking of the hands and other body parts and affects about 10% of all Americans. The degradations of motor skills severely affect daily activities of patients such as eating, writing and dressing. Existing pharmacological treatments, in general, have shown side effects over long term. In recent years, wearable devices and stabilizing assistive devices have been developed to address uncontrolled tremor. The products have shown great potential, but they are not ideal yet. In this work, we developed a low-cost non-invasive handle stabilizing to a preferred orientation in the presence of hand tremors. A validation study evaluated the performance of this prototype on a vibration generator that simulates specific vibrations relevant for PD and ET. The results show that the presented tremor reduction system controls external vibration better than the on-market products. The prototype also has a significantly lower cost and lighter weight. With these combined advantages, this work may help people with PD and ET accomplishing fine motor tasks and therefore improve the quality of life for this unattended population.
KeywordsTremor Stabilizing Parkinson/Essential Tremor
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