New Device Helps MS Patients With Walking - 8 News NOW

New Device Helps MS Patients With Walking

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A computer, the NESS L300, is helping restore the ability to walk for multiple sclerosis patients.

"I'm trying to regain back my strength so I can at least walk from my chair to my bathroom," said Marcia Lambert. Her goals may sound simple enough. But for someone with Multiple Sclerosis, anything that involves walking can be difficult.

Part of the problem is foot-drop, which requires a person to shuffle along, rather than lifting their feet as they walk -- something most of us do automatically.

Now, Healthsouth in Las Vegas has a new wireless therapeutic device that appears to be helping.

"It does help me raise my leg properly. My steps are larger, and it's increased my endurance because my steps are larger. I'm not shuffling and using all my strength up to walk," said Lambert.

Director of Therapy for Healthsouth, Danielle Morcom says the hand-held computer communicates with electrodes fitted just below the knee and with sensors in the shoes.

When the muscles send a message to the computer to take a step, the response is an electrical impulse.

"The moment they take weight off their heel, when you're supposed to bring your toes up and your foot up, it then starts the signal. So the electrical stim starts and makes the muscle contract -- and the foot comes up," said Morcom.

Lambert says she feels a mild electric shock each time an impulse is sent -- but she's gotten used to it and looks forward to the possibility of improving her stride.

The device is now being used not only for patients with MS, but also for those with other neurological disorders such as cerebral palsy.

If you'd like to see the device for yourself, Healthsouth off Valley View will allow the public to stop by for a look at that and other new therapy devices this Wednesday April 30 from 3 - 6 p.m. and you can RSVP at 877-8898.

For more on NESS L300, click here.

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