Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Japanese researchers develop WalkMate System for improving quality of life of Parkinson's patients

Date:
August 27, 2012
Source:
Tokyo Institute of Technology
Summary:
Researchers in Japan have developed an innovative, non-invasive therapeutic intervention that may improve the mobility, stability, and quality of life of Parkinson's disease patients.

Schematic illustration and components of the WalkMate system.
Credit: Tokyo Institute of Technology

Tokyo Tech's Yoshihiro Miyake and colleagues have developed an innovative, non-invasive therapeutic intervention that may improve the mobility, stability, and quality of life of Parkinson's disease patients.

The technology is also described in the August issue of Tokyo Institute of Technology Bulletin: http://www.titech.ac.jp/bulletin/index.html

The unintentional synchronizing of people's gait as they walk together is a familiar phenomenon. Understanding the mechanisms behind this synchronization could help people with a disturbed gait, such as patients suffering from Parkinson's disease. Research by Yoshihiro Miyake at the Department of Computational Intelligence and Systems Science at Tokyo Institute of Technology has helped to demystify the process and led to a new walking support device -- 'Walk Mate'.

Yoshihiro Miyake investigated coupled walking processes between a walking robot and a walking person. The study included people with a healthy gait and people suffering from Parkinson's disease or hemiplegia due to brain infraction. He used the timing of the walking person as a sensory input for the robot and the sound of a walking rhythm as the robot's output. An algorithm based on travelling wave dynamics controlled the timing difference between the Walk Mate's input and output.

The study revealed how people adjust their pace in response to the robot's audible output. Patients' stride patterns were healthier using 'Walk Mate' and they reported a greater stability and "sense of togetherness" compared with more traditional walking aids that have a fixed rhythm. Further studies in collaboration with researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences and the Department of Neurology at Kanto Central Hospital have underlined the great potential of the device.

"Our approach offers a flexible, portable, low-cost, non-invasive therapeutic intervention that may improve the mobility, stability, and quality of life of Parkinson's disease patients," say the inventors.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tokyo Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Y. Miyake. Interpersonal Synchronization of Body Motion and the Walk-Mate Walking Support Robot. IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 2009; 25 (3): 638 DOI: 10.1109/TRO.2009.2020350
  2. Michael J. Hove, Kazuki Suzuki, Hirotaka Uchitomi, Satoshi Orimo, Yoshihiro Miyake. Interactive Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation Reinstates Natural 1/f Timing in Gait of Parkinson's Patients. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (3): e32600 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032600

Cite This Page:

Tokyo Institute of Technology. "Japanese researchers develop WalkMate System for improving quality of life of Parkinson's patients." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827093049.htm>.
Tokyo Institute of Technology. (2012, August 27). Japanese researchers develop WalkMate System for improving quality of life of Parkinson's patients. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827093049.htm
Tokyo Institute of Technology. "Japanese researchers develop WalkMate System for improving quality of life of Parkinson's patients." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120827093049.htm (accessed April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins