Soft Wearable Device for Treatment of Ataxia

Description

Ataxia, or impaired muscle coordination, often results in tremor-like instability within different joints. There are three forms of ataxia, hereditary, cerebellar and acquired ataxia. People who suffer from ataxia often have a lower quality of life, as it can make even simple motions difficult, and they often have to rely on others for basic assistance. Current devices to treat ataxia are often passive and rigid, causing discomfort to the user.

Researchers at Arizona State University have developed a soft wearable device to stabilize tremors in patients with ataxia. This device reacts to the user’s motion to adjust itself and provide resistance against ataxia related movements. Because this device allows maximum range of motion of the wrist, it can be comfortably worn by patients throughout the day without interfering with daily activities.

This novel device helps patients with ataxia have better control of their hand motions, achieve fine motor control, and ultimately gives them a greater sense of independence.

Potential Applications

•       Stabilization of tremor in patients with ataxia from many causes:

o       Tumors, MS, Stroke, cerebral palsy, head trauma, TIA, alcohol abuse, genetics, etc.

Benefits and Advantages

•       Modular design with easy to replace components

•       Provides maximum range of motion of the wrist

•       Soft and comfortable to wear all day

•       Flexible and discreet design

•       Helps patience achieve greater independence

•       Fast response time

•       Battery powered

For more information about the inventor(s) and their research, please see

Dr. Sugar's departmental webpage