A Wearable to Handle Parkinson’s Motor Signs: Interview with Lucy Jung, CEO at Charco Neurotech

Charco Neurotech, a medtech firm based mostly in the UK, has developed CUE1, a non-invasive wearable that’s meant to help these with Parkinson’s illness to handle their motor signs. The gadget is usually affixed to the sternum, and offers vibratory motion in a targeted area of the physique. The know-how relies on the remark of a health care provider within the early 1800s, who observed that their sufferers’ motor signs had been considerably lowered after they traveled to their appointments over bumpy roads in a horse and carriage.

The know-how additionally makes use of cueing to help sufferers who could be liable to ‘freezing’ to extend their mobility. As a drug-free, non-invasive therapy possibility, the know-how has loads of engaging options for sufferers who could be prepared to attempt it, and it’s at present accessible within the UK, with plans for enlargement quickly.     

See a video under concerning the CUE1 and the way it works:

Medgadget had the chance to talk with Lucy Jung, Co-founder and CEO at Charco Neurotech, concerning the know-how.  

Conn Hastings, Medgadget: Please give us a primary overview of Parkinson’s illness.

Lucy Jung, Charco Neurotech: Parkinson’s is among the world’s fastest-growing neurological problems, with greater than 10 million folks residing with it worldwide. The signs of Parkinson’s, reminiscent of shaking, stiffness, and lack of steadiness and coordination, may be attributed to a lack of neurotransmitters within the mind, most notably dopamine.

The aforementioned signs are only a few examples – there are over 40 signs of Parkinson’s. These signs can have a big impression on the day-to-day high quality of life of individuals with Parkinson’s.

Medgadget: How do sufferers handle their signs at current? How is that this suboptimal?

Jung: The present symptom administration for Parkinson’s contains a wide range of bodily workout routines, remedy and surgical procedure reminiscent of deep mind stimulation. As signs change into extra extreme for these with Parkinson’s, they’re unable to freely transfer, that means their stage of bodily motion decreases. With visits to clinicians each 6 to 12 months, it may be tough to inform how one’s day by day signs change, and as such, modify remedy regimes.

Medgadget: What impressed Charco Neurotech to develop applied sciences to deal with Parkinson’s? How did the thought for the CUE1 come about?

Jung: I’ve been researching long-term well being problems for over a decade now. In 2013, I met with a gentleman with Parkinson’s who was actually completely satisfied to see our workforce however couldn’t smile as Parkinson’s had taken away his smile. This led my co-founder and I to our mission to deliver smiles again to folks with Parkinson’s via Charco.

The inspiration behind the CUE1 took place by speaking to folks with Parkinson’s about how numerous stimulations might help day-to-day, and by delving deeper into the traits of those stimulations. From there, it was a steady technique of prototyping and iterating with folks with Parkinson’s on the forefront. Their suggestions has at all times been central to our improvement of the CUE1.

Medgadget: When and the way was targeted stimulation found as lowering Parkinson’s signs? How does cueing work in helping Parkinson’s affected persons?

Jung: Within the early nineteenth century, Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot first observed that vibration might assist cut back signs for folks with Parkinson’s as he discovered those that visited him by railroad or carriage had lowered symptom severity compared to these whom he visited. Latest research have proven that localized stimulation, as a substitute of full-body vibration, may be more practical in assuaging signs.

Cueing works by offering an individual with an exterior set off (a cue) for motion. It’s simplest for many who generally expertise freezing episodes, the place they might be unable to maneuver for a number of seconds or minutes at a time. The cues can then assist somebody time and set off their motion.

Medgadget: Please give us an summary of the CUE1, its characteristic,s and the way it’s used.

Jung: The CUE1 is a non-invasive, wearable, medical gadget which makes use of targeted vibrotactile stimulation together with cueing to alleviate movement-based signs for folks with Parkinson’s. Apart from that, the gadget can even present remedy reminders and symptom monitoring via using the CUE cell utility.

Medgadget: How does the CUE1 use targeted stimulation and cueing to deal with Parkinson’s signs?

Jung: Worn generally on the sternum, the CUE1 offers localized pulsed vibration to the person. The targeted stimulation might help cut back the excessive beta frequency band exercise within the mind, resulting in the physique being in a extra ready-to-move state and lowering stiffness and slowness. The cueing offers these triggers for motion, which assist with smoother and freer motion. Together, the 2 therapies assist alleviate the movement-based signs, resulting in an improved day-to-day high quality of life.

Medgadget: What stage of improvement is the gadget at at present? When do you anticipate that it may very well be accessible?

Jung: The gadget is already accessible within the UK with greater than 2,500 folks utilizing it, and we’re within the technique of scaling up our manufacturing. We’re additionally engaged on the preliminary, restricted EU and US enlargement of the CUE1 and are very enthusiastic about bringing extra smiles again to folks with Parkinson’s.

Hyperlink: Charco Neurotech homepage…