Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Vibrating Pen For Parkinson Patients

If Dropping Is An Issue

Vibrating Pen Aims To Help People With Parkinson’s Write More Easily

Some seniors with Parkinsons will find that shaking is not the only struggle with writing. If dropping your writing device frequently is a problem, getting either a ring style pen or a pen with a wrist strap is recommended.

Especially for elderly individuals who might have trouble getting back up after bending over or who suffer from back problems, we highly recommend one of these two styles.

The Future Of The Emma Watch

Still in the research stage, additional tests are being conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the device on different people with Parkinsons. The Emma Watch addresses Emma Lawtons specific symptoms. Future technology may be able to help more people with movement disorders.2 The list of people requesting the Emma watch and/or offering to participate in new trials is growing.

Parkinson’s Pen Vibrates To Improve Legibility

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Parkinsons disease causes tremors or stiffness that can turn everyday tasks such as eating, brushing teeth or writing into frustrating chores. A few years ago a company called Liftware developed forks and spoons that respond to shaking by steadying the utensil, making it easier enjoy a meal. Now researchers at Imperial College and the Royal College of Art in London are developing a device called the ARC pen that vibrates to stimulate muscles in the hand. The vibrations could help Parkinson’s patients handwritingin part by counteracting whats known as micrographia, which causes writing to be small and barely legible. Micrographia is often an early sign of Parkinsons and afflicts about five percent of patients. The researchers, who formed a company called Dopa Solution, have not published results but they say that 12 out of the 14 Parkinsons sufferers testing their vibrating prototype ARC pen were able to write larger, clearer characters than they could with a normal pen. Dopa hopes to also develop tools, brushes and even computer mice that work like their pen. Not a cure, of course, but certainly a way to help users have a more satisfying life.

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The Pen Uses Vibrations To Stimulate Muscles In The Hand Making It Easier To Move The Pen And Write Smoothly

A BRITISH DESIGN company has developed a pen that makes it easier for people with Parkinsons disease to write clearly.

Dopa Solution has created a pen called ARC designed to help those suffering from a common symptom of Parkinsons called micrographia, a process that causes writing to become smaller and more cramped until its illegible.

The pen was tested with fourteen people who experienced micrographia, and found that their writing improved in 86% of cases.

In an interview with WIRED, its product designer Lucy Jung said its looking at applying the same principles to other products such as make-up tools, and computer mice.

Vibrating Pen Makes It Easier For Parkinson’s Patients To Write

ARC: Vibrating Pen for People with Parkinsons Disease

The ARC pen pictured above might look laughably large, but it could be the perfect option for folks with Parkinson’s disease. It was created by a group of students from UK’s Royal College of Art and the Imperial College London to combat a Parkinson’s symptom called micrographia. That’s characterized by a patient’s handwriting becoming smaller and more cramped as they go along, to the point that it’s not readable anymore. This pen prevents that from happening by stimulating key muscles through vibration , giving users more control over their hands. Further, its large size makes it more comfortable to hold than regular pens.

The team led by Lucy Jung started this project with something else in mind: they wanted to create a vibrating pen that can give non-patients a taste of what it feels like having to write with Parkinson’s. Instead, they found that vibration enables larger and more legible handwriting, which really isn’t that surprising. Remember Google X’s vibrating spoon moonshot? That one allows patients to feed themselves without spilling anything, because vibrations counter the user’s hand tremors. In fact, Jung and her team plan to equip other tools, such as makeup brushes and computer mice, with vibrating motors in the future.

Recommended Reading: How To Cure Parkinson’s Naturally

Arc Pen To Help Parkinsons Patients Write

By Tony Bridges | Last Updated March 2, 2020

If youre someone who loves the feel and experience of writing by hand, could you imagine losing that ability?

It happens to Parkinsons patients who develop bradykinesia, a symptom which slows movement and affects fine motor control. Writing becomes painful, leading to small, cramped handwriting, called micrographia.

Thats why a group of UK university students have developed a pen specially designed to ease the writing experience for those with Parkinsons disease.

The ARC pen by Dopa Solution, formed by students from Imperial College and the Royal College of Art, contains motors that vibrate, easing the cramping in the users hand.

According to Dopas website:

ARC is the first pen specifically designed for people with Parkinsons living with micrographia. This condition can result in small, cramped and often uncomfortable handwriting. Many people with this motor control difficulty give up the practice of writing or drawing altogetherBy utilizing high frequency vibration motors within ARC, we are able to facilitate larger and clearer writing by stimulating the key muscles in the hand as well as reducing the effort required to move the pen across the paper.

The group says it ran trials of the pen with 14 Parkinsons patients. Writing size increased for 86 percent of the participants.

Ive emailed the Dopa team to see what kind of refill the pen uses and will let you know if they get back to me.

Filed Under: General Interest

Vibration As An Emerging Therapy For Parkinsons

Parkinsons disease is a progressive disorder in which neurons in the substantia nigra are destroyed, leading to a reduction of dopamine in the brain. This leads to symptoms such as tremor, bradykinesia and rigidity, which can make everyday tasks very difficult for Parkinsons patients.

It affects 145,000 people in the UK and up to 10 million worldwide, with most patients diagnosed over the age of 60. The disease can be difficult to diagnose, and while there are treatments that help to maintain quality of life and life expectancy, there is no cure.

Vibration has been noted as helping Parkinsons patients since celebrated 19th Century neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot observed improvement in patients symptoms after they rode in a carriage. These vehicles, lacking modern suspension, vibrated extensively.

Though researchers are yet to completely understand the mechanism by which vibration alleviates Parkinsons symptoms, this is an active field of study and research to date has shown the potential of vibration alleviate the physical symptoms of the disease. One suggested explanation of the impact of vibration is that neurodegeneration leads to altered sensory stimulation and integration in the central nervous system which affects movement symptoms. Vibration may cause indirect stimulation of motor neurons in the brain through sensory reweighting, leading to improved movement control.

Recommended Reading: Where Is The Lesion In Parkinson’s Disease

More Comfortable Angles To Write

When the standard grip of holding a pen or pencil is uncomfortable or unmanageable for elderly with Parkinsons or even arthritis, a device that changes the way the pen is gripped is a fantastic idea. Both the Aids to Daily Living Steady Write Writing Pen and the PenAgain 3 Pack of Pens do this to some extent. So, these options could be worth a try.

From The Idea Factory Our Special Report On Innovation

Vibrating Pen Aims To Help People With Parkinson’s Write More Easily

Courtesy photo

A vibrating pen “may be the key to improving the writing” of people with Parkinson’s disease, said Lance Whitney at CNET.com. As Parkinson’s progresses, patients’ muscles seize up, which causes their handwriting to become increasingly small and cramped. The ARC pen, designed by British firm Dopa Solution, “uses high-frequency vibration to stimulate the muscles in the hand,” giving patients the sensation of greater control and allowing them to produce clearer, larger writing.

The pen’s thick, wedge-shaped design also makes it easier to grip. In a small-scale trial, the device improved patients’ writing 86 percent of the time. The ARC pen remains in the testing phase, and Dopa Solution is searching for sponsors to help with its development. The firm is also “looking to apply its vibration technology to other products to assist those with Parkinson’s.”

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The Arc Pen By Dopa Solution

The result of Dopa Solutions research and testing is the ARC pen. It works by stimulating certain muscles in the hand, and by reducing the amount of energy and effort required to move ones hand across a page. It has an ergonomic shape, making it as comfortable as possible to hold, and theres a button which alters the level of vibration intensity so the user can personalise it to their individual needs.

86% of the initial participants in the trial of this pen produced bigger handwriting when they used it, compared to normal pens. This is very promising news to those with Micrographia. Dopa Solution are currently still developing and testing the ARC pen to ensure it is as effective as possible, before bringing it on to the market.

I hope the design is finalised and put on sale as soon as possible, as it sounds to be a great solution to those with Parkinsons disease or unrelated Micrographia who enjoy penmanship and their independence.

Thixotropic Heavy Big Weighted Pen For Parkinsons

  • Weighted pens can assist with control of involuntary motion
  • BIG! Barrel measures 1 across pen grip, however you hold a pen
  • HEAVY! Weighs around 3.5 oz around the same as a C battery
  • HELPFUL for some people with Parkinsons, essential tremors, and similar conditions
Pros
  • Wrist strap to avoid dropping.
  • Fat, easy-to-grip, ergonomic shape.
  • Weighted for tremors and shaking.
  • Long-lasting metal ink cartridges.
Cons
  • Not ideal for users with tiny hands or weak grips.

The Thixotropic Heavy, Big Weighted Pen is explicitly designed for seniors with Parkinsons and/or tremors. This package comes as a twin-pack both pens connect to a wrist strap to prevent the pen from falling to the floor if droppedthis is a significant benefit to elderly who have trouble grabbing things or bending over.

This pen writes with black ink from long-lasting metal cartridges. As of this posting, the company also has a Parkinsons aid stylus for smartphones and tablets in development, too. The seller is responsive, which we love if you need a replacement or return on these pens.

Once your ink runs low, these pens can be refilled with any Parker-style ink refill. We also like that the bright red color of the pen makes it easier to find than a typical white or black pen. The decent price, the hefty weight, convenient wrist strap, and thick, ergonomic grip make this our favorite general pen for seniors with Parkinsons.

Best Attachment

We love the smooth, steadying design of this triangular pen attachment.

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How To Make Writing Easier For People With Parkinsons

Disability is bound to bring frustration to its bearer. Not being able to walk or play does have adverse effects on the patient. However, one of the more frustrating things is not being able to grip things especially for people suffering from Parkinsons disease. They usually face problems like shakiness, tremors and difficulty writing. People suffering from this disease have difficulty in writing just because they cannot hold the pen properly. To help people with this disorder, there are now many writing aids available online which can help overcome this imperfection.

Pencil Grips

People with Parkinsons sometimes have a problem while gripping a pencil. To help solve this problem, various grips are available which can really make writing easier for the patient. These grips can easily be mounted on your pencil to give you a firm hold. They come in different shapes and sizes allowing you to choose the right one for your specific problem.

Weighted Pen

These pens allow patients to grip and write more easily. They are specially made for people who have difficulty controlling their muscles. This pen is extremely light in weight with the option to add weight according to your comfort. Now you can choose the right weight for your pen simply by adding weights to your weighted pen.

Ring Pen

Steady Write Pen

The Vibrating Pen Fighting Parkinson’s Disease

A glove could block Parkinson

Students at the Imperial College London and Royal College of Art have developed a vibrating pen that hopes to help patients with Parkinson’s disease.

The team of engineers and designers created the pen to try to combat a condition known as micrographia which causes people to write in small or cramped handwriting.

The pen is still in the testing phase. BBC Clickspoke to Lucy Jung, one of the students behind the device.

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Vibrating Pen Aims To Help People With Parkinson’s Write More Easily

Still in the testing phase, the ARC pen stimulates the muscles in the hand, making it easier for someone to move the pen and write more legibly.

A new vibrating pen may be the key to improving the writing of people who have Parkinson’s disease.

Fashioned by British design firm Dopa Solution, the ARC pen tries to resolve the motor control difficulties that Parkinson’s patients run into when they write, according to a story published Monday by Wired UK. Specifically, many of those with Parkinson’s suffer from a handwriting disorder known as micrographia. This condition leads to smaller and more cramped handwriting as the person continues to write.

“We heard stories of how frustrating it was for people who were still working, or who wanted to write a card, sign documents, anything that had to do with writing,” ARC product designer Lucy Jung told Wired UK.

To combat micrographia, the ARC pen uses high-frequency vibration to stimulate the muscles in the hand. That makes it easier for someone to move the pen, which results in larger and clearer writing, according to Wired UK. The ARC pen is also thicker and better designed than the average pen, so people with Parkinson’s can maintain a firmer and more comfortable grip on it.

In an initial trial involving 14 people with Parkinson’s, the high-tech pen improved writing 86 percent of the time.

A Pen For People With Parkinsons

Lucy Jung never thought much about designing for sick people. Then she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She recovered, and the experience has driven her toward what she now thinks of her calling: to use design to help improve the quality of life of hospital patients and those with chronic conditions.

It drove the 27-year-old designer to create the Arc, a pen for people with Parkinsons disease. Along with three fellow students from the UKs Royal College of Art and the Imperial College London who took part in the Innovation Design and Engineering joint masters course, Jung designed the pen to not only make it easier for people with Parkinsons to write legibly, but to actually loosen up the muscles of their hands after theyve put the pen down.

The Arc Pen works by addressing a common symptom of Parkinsons patients: micrographia. As the disease takes hold, patients find their muscles seizing up, which then impacts their handwriting, and their letters appear abnormally small and cramped.

Why a pen? When youre talking about designing for the chronically ill, a lot of designers focus on basic life needs, Jung tells me. But our lives arent just eating and breathing. Its also writing, and drawing, and singing, and a load of other things that give people joy. So we wanted to focus on that.

Read Also: What Are Signs And Symptoms Of Parkinson’s

Vibrating Pen Makes It Easier For Parkinsons Patients To Write

The ARC pen pictured above might look laughably large, but it could be the perfect option for folks with Parkinsons disease. It was created by a group of students from UKs Royal College of Art and the Imperial College London to combat a Parkinsons symptom called micrographia. Thats characterized by a patients handwriting becoming smaller and more cramped as they go along, to the point that its not readable anymore. This pen prevents that from happening by stimulating key muscles through vibration , giving users more control over their hands. Further, its large size makes it more comfortable to hold than regular pens.

The team led by Lucy Jung started this project with something else in mind: they wanted to create a vibrating pen that can give non-patients a taste of what it feels like having to write with Parkinsons. Instead, they found that vibration enables larger and more legible handwriting, which really isnt that surprising. Remember Google Xs vibrating spoon moonshot? That one allows patients to feed themselves without spilling anything, because vibrations counter the users hand tremors. In fact, Jung and her team plan to equip other tools, such as makeup brushes and computer mice, with vibrating motors in the future.

Best Writing Aids For Those With Parkinsons

The vibrating pen fighting Parkinson’s disease

If you or an aging loved one suffers from Parkinsons Disease, you know that the uncontrollable shakiness can be not only frightening but also incredibly frustrating during daily tasks such as brushing teeth and attempting to write. Thankfully, some devices exist to help steady a sufferers hand while writing. So, weve picked our favorite writing aids for seniors with Parkinsons on the market right now.

Best Pen

This is our overall favorite pen for the full grip and the hefty weight, along with the wrist strap to prevent dropping.

Recommended Reading: Is There Any Cure For Parkinson’s Disease

How Does The Emma Watch Work

Just as Parkinsons has no known cause or cure, the specific mechanism of action used in the Emma Watch is not fully understood. When wearing the device, Lawton was able to see her hand tremors but couldnt feel them. It is thought that the vibrations from the watch replaced the physical sensation of the tremor.4

Movement is regulated by a sensorimotor feedback loop, involving the perception of movement and position of the body.2 Neurologists think that Parkinsons tremors could be caused by an error in the feedback loop where the brain may be trying to overcompensate for the initial error, resulting in ongoing tremors.

The Emma Watch initiates vibrations that act as white noise, thereby interrupting the sensory feedback loop, which prevents the brain from sensing the error and trying to overcorrect.2 Zhang explained to the BBC that she believes when wearing the watch Emmas brain doesnt sense hand tremors, and is therefore no longer trying to stop her hand from moving.1

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