Tribe Feed Forums 2023 Insight Summit Assistive Devices in Parkinson’s

  • Melissa McConaghy

    11/04/2023 at 9:14 am

    Welcome everyone to this presentation. Please post your questions or comments here and we will forward them on. Check back for your response!

  • James Lohr

    11/04/2023 at 10:38 am

    Does anyone have experience with the vibrating gloves being developed at Stanford University? It has been said that the results are amazing and that the timeframe and process to get them approved by the US FDA is horrendous.

    • randy eady

      11/04/2023 at 11:12 am

      Hi James, do you have any specifics to share about the gloves? I did a post about a project called Hearing Hands related to vibro-acoustic and I’m curious if it is related in any way? I wrote: “A glove-like device (or even a shirt) to “hear” through the hands and body’s concentrated sub-tonal Meissner’s sensors has completed development and serves to maximize vibrational sensations (with non-invasive neuro-tactile overlays — linking the nervous system directly to a Brain Computing Interface – BCI) which, then, may also augment peripheral stimulation to improve movement and balance (with conditions such as PD) and even augment inner-ear balance capacity. Homo Musicus ~~The Touch of Sound: “Hearing” Hands & Archaeoacoustics | LinkedIn

      • James Lohr

        12/04/2023 at 9:48 am

        Dr. Peter Tass of Tass Lab at Stanford University has claimed some preliminary results that show patients making marked improvement of their Parkinson’s symptoms by using gloves with patterned fingertip vibrations. Given that information and a lack of access to the “gloves”, I began to experiment with a simple back massager type device. Although the results of my tests were unscientific and subject to bias, the vibrations on my fingers did seem to help.



  • Ian and Claire Rich

    11/04/2023 at 1:49 pm

    Wondering how a study on assistive devices came to the conclusion that caneswere good but slower, four wheeled walkers were the best… yup anyone withPD could have told you that. Sorry but a disappointing presentation where a gentleman literally read off the screen.

  • Stephen Dunn

    11/04/2023 at 5:09 pm

    Interesting study on the benefits of mobility devices for Parkinson’s patients. As a person who experiences Dystonia in the feet it is extremely disabling when it occurs making mobility impossible. A mobility scooter for example would not provide a solution as the pain wouuld make controling the chair impossible.. I have been unable to find any specific device to aid mobility for foot Dystonia. A silicon metatarsal sleeve and wrist sweat band over the toes enables walking by it’s effect of somehow tricking the brain and controlling the claw effect. Also walking on tip toes somehow tricks the brain to not claw the foot providing mobility. Have thought this might be a case for the development of a high heeled shoe to povide mobility for Parkinson’s patients with Foot Dystonia. Are you aware of any mobilty device or development work towards a mobility aid for foot Dystonia?

  • Karen Mason

    11/04/2023 at 7:33 pm

    I have been having botox injections in my leg every 3 months to help ease my dystonia. Definitely helps and the clawing is less.

  • Danielle Robinson

    13/04/2023 at 1:35 am

    How can I get a laser cane as it seems to be the best thing to do for a ‘freezing’ gait? Interesting talk about assistive devices. Thank you.

  • Tiana Della-Putta

    14/04/2023 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you for your research and presentation Alvaro. Using assistive devices is an important area and as your review shows, not straight forward. I am wondering if in your research you have come across the use of ‘Urban Poles’ designed by a Canadian OT. These are used similar to Nordic walking, pole in each hand, from my reading and personal experience they seem to help with posture, stride length, speed and arm swing. Any comments on these?



    • Álvaro García Bustillo

      17/04/2023 at 5:29 pm

      Thank you very much for your contribution Tiana. Indeed, the use of assistive devices in Parkinson’s disease is a very important area, but not an easy one, as there is insufficient scientific evidence and studies, and they are very contradictory. During this systematic review we did not come across any articles evaluating the effects of “Urban Poles” exclusively in Parkinson’s disease. However, I recently read about these assistive devices, and it seems that as you say, they have good results, improving posture, walking speed, stride length, and arm swing. I suppose, like other assistive devices, they require further research in people with Parkinson’s Disease and in daily environments, but they seem to be very functional.

  • Tiana Della-Putta

    17/04/2023 at 8:28 pm

    <div>Thanks Alvaro,</div><div>agree more research needed in this area. From my personal experience the Urban Poles have been very useful for gait and stride length, arm swing, spine rotation, muscle strength and cardio. I have seen videos of PwP who use them more as balance aids enabling them to walk more confidently. Hopefully over time their place in the options for PwP will become clearer.</div><div>

    Best wishes with your future research.



  • Tammy Noden

    01/05/2023 at 10:01 pm

    Thank you for yr information.

  • Val Cook

    24/05/2023 at 5:52 am

    Hi has anyone any experience of using metranome or auditory devices?

  • Tiana Della-Putta

    26/05/2023 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Val,

    yes I have downloaded a free metronome app onto my phone and use it to pace my walking speed and also keep a rhythm while I am walking. There are a number of free metronome apps available.


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