Sensors Help Multiple Sclerosis Patient Walk Without Falling
Posted Jun 23 2010 12:00am
(Springfield) -- New technology is helping victims of multiple sclerosis, stroke or traumatic brain injury move around. Bonnie Bell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 14 years ago. There's no cure for the disease but medication can slow the effects. It took something larger than a pill, though, for Bell to stay on her feet. At 50 years old, Bell says she won't be sidelined by M.S. "I decided I was simply going to live life to the fullest," Bell says. "Whatever I needed to do in order to live every second of that life to the fullest, I was going to do." But the ordinary act of walking became a burden. "About four years ago I started needing the cane all the time," Bell says." She has what doctors call a "foot drop." "The messages from my brain telling the toe of my foot to raise, which yours does automatically without even thinking, just doesn't happen with mine," Bell says. "Up here is the cuff," Cox Health physical therapist Chris Glenn says. Technology called Bioness L-300 prevents the foot from dropping. "This device will emit an electric current from the nerve into the muscle," Glenn says. The cuff sends one message to the foot.