As many as one million people in the United States live with Parkinson’s disease. This is more than the number of people living with multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and Lou Gehrig’s disease combined. An estimated 10 million people worldwide suffer from the disease, and men are one and a half more times likely to be diagnosed with the illness.
Parkinson’s is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Unfortunately, the cause is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms.
Parkinson’s involves the malfunction and death of vital nerve cells in the brain, called neurons. Parkinson’s primarily affects neurons in the area of the brain called the substantia nigra. Some of these dying neurons produce dopamine, the chemical that sends messages to the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. As Parkinson’s progresses, the amount of dopamine produced in the brain decreases, leaving a person unable to control movement normally. This is why one of the major characteristics of the disease is involuntary shaking of the arms and head.
As you would imagine, living with this disease makes living life quite difficult. Things that you and I take for granted and do with such ease, are infinitely harder to do with Parkinson’s. One of the biggest challenges that faces someone with the illness is eating. The involuntary shaking can make holding things and lifting them to the mouth an extremely difficult task. This was true until the invention of the Liftware tremor spoon.
Liftware is an electronic spoon that uses a microchip and sensors to detect the direction and force of a user’s tremor, before motoring the spoon in the opposite direction to cancel out the movement as best it can, in essence, leveling off the spoon so that it doesn’t tilt or spill. So the person holding the spoon can shake freely and the food on the soon will never move, helping them to take food from palate to mouth in one easy process.
Still a work in progress, and not yet ready to be purchased, when this device hits the market it will change an infinite number of lives. Making daily life that much more manageable and giving independence back to those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease is a great gift being given.
Consult your primary care physician or chiropractor for any medical related advice.
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