The Parkinson's implant "increases walking ability" as cutting edge treatment restores the movement of patients previously left
- The home is suffering from Parkinson's disease, which can go freely after treatment
- Patients receive electrical stimulation of their thorns by implant
- The newly developed implant strengthens the signals sent from the brain to the limbs and vice versa.
The avant-garde treatment, which can significantly restore the movement of Parkinson's disease patients, was hailed as "beyond the wildest dreams" of their researchers.
Patients who previously left the house are now walking freely after having received electrical stimulation to their thorns.
An implant is developed to amplify the signals sent from the brain to the limbs and vice versa. This allows the patient to walk normally, he says.
A quarter of patients with Parkinson's disease have difficulty walking, as the pain begins to influence. Some begin to freeze on the spot and even fall.
Patients were able to regain some of the post-treatment independence that allowed them to walk again
But pioneering Canadian researchers behind this technique claim that improving the quality of life of patients is immeasurable.
Professor Mandar Jog of the West University in London, Ontario, said the results were "beyond his wildest dreams." Speaking to the BBC, he said: "Most of our patients have had the disease for 15 years and have not had any confidence for several years."
He added, "To be able to go home, at risk of falling, so that I can go to the mall and relax, it is remarkable for me to see."
66-year-old Gail Jardin says her quality of life has improved since the implant was installed two months ago. Ms Jardine had previously been freezing on the spot, as well as falling two or three times a day. The resulting loss of confidence prevented her from going to the province of Kitchener, Ontario, with her husband Stan.
But now she can go free for the first time in more than two years. She said: walk I can walk much better. I have not fallen since I started treatment.
Parkinson's disease: 3D illustration showing neurons containing Lewy bodies, small red spheres that are deposits of proteins accumulated in brain cells that cause their progressive degeneration
"I gave myself more confidence and I look forward to taking more strolls with Stan and maybe even myself." Walking requires that the brain and legs send signals to the contour. First the brain says to the feet to move. He then receives signals when a step is made and in turn sends instructions for the next step.
Professor Jog thinks that Parkinson's disease limits the signals that return to the brain as opposed to coming from the brain, causing the cycle to break and patients to freeze.
He believes that the exploding electricity from the implant awakens the mechanism of feedback from the legs to the brain – which is reduced by the disease. He said: 'This is completely different rehabilitation therapy. We thought that Parkinson's motion problems appeared because signals from the brain to the legs did not pass.
"But it seems that these are the signals that go back to the brain that have degraded."
Dr Bekky Port of UK's Parkinson's charity said: "If future research shows the same promise, it has the potential to drastically improve the quality of life, giving people with Parkinson the freedom to enjoy day-to-day activities.