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XXY gantry for cutting-edge Parkinson’s research

04 April 2022

Cutting-edge research at the University of Exeter aims to train people with Parkinson’s to shift their balance and overcome ‘freezing of gait’. It relies on HepcoMotion’s core GV3 linear guide to provide the overhead sliding support system.

Pioneering research for Parkinson’s 

Freezing of gait (a feeling that one’s feet are stuck to the floor) is associated with balance problems and anxiety – two areas identified by people with Parkinson’s as priorities for research. This research utilises the world’s largest force-sensing platform and a VSimulator to induce freezing in participants. It evaluates the potential influence of weight-shift training on the ability to step from a freeze when a participant walks in a virtual reality environment. A harness is used in conjunction with the overhead guidance system, following the participant’s movements and taking their weight if they stumble, to prevent them from falling. 

James Bassitt, Senior Experimental Officer at the University of Exeter, explains: “This research will provide unprecedented access to measurements of walking and freeze events that will undoubtedly progress our understanding of this common symptom of Parkinson’s.” Bassitt continues: “Given the potential for this research, it was important for us to work closely with a reliable and technically experienced company to provide the overhead gantry system.” 

Read the full article in the April issue of DPA

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