GOTHENBURG, Sweden (Reuters)—A wearable device that stimulates the sense of balance with electric “noise” could help Parkinson’s disease patients, according to Swedish scientists.
Scientists from the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy have developed a portable pocket-sized vestibular, or balance, stimulation device in a bid to improve the lives of Parkinson’s sufferers.
The research was led by Associate Professor Filip Bergquist, who said the simple device was similar to the TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) therapy which is used for pain relief, for example in child birth.
“So this is really not a very complicated device. It is a current device which is very similar to the ones that people use for pain relief with electrical stimulation of muscles and nerves, what’s called TENS. The difference is that we use a particular current profile which you can stimulate the balance organs with without creating a balance disturbance. So you do not get the impression that the world is moving or that you are moving, you actually do not feel anything,” Bergquist explained.