I Ask This Of You!

I have Parkinson's diseases and thought it would be nice to have a place where the contents of updated news is found in one place. That is why I began this blog.

I copy news articles pertaining to research, news and information for Parkinson's disease, Dementia, the Brain, Depression and Parkinson's with Dystonia. I also post about Fundraising for Parkinson's disease and events. I try to be up-to-date as possible.

I am not responsible for it's contents. I am just a copier of information searched on the computer. Please understand the copies are just that, copies and at times, I am unable to enlarge the wording or keep it uniformed as I wish.

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Please discuss this with your doctor, should you have any questions, or concerns.

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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Fruit For Health Infographic

January 16, 2016

Women and men who eat berries on a regular basis could have a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease, while the risk for men could also be reduced even more by consuming oranges, apples and other foods rich in dietary components known as flavonoids, on a regular basis.

Flavonoids can be found in fruits and plants and are also referred to collectively as citrin and vitamin P. They are also found in chocolate, berries, and citrus fruits like grapefruit.
The researchers gave 80,336 women and 49,281 men questionnaires and made use of a database to determine consumed amount of flavonoids. The link between flavonoid consumption and Parkinson’s disease risk was then analyzed. The consumption of 5 major flavonoid rich foods was also analyzed: namely berries, tea, red wine, apples, and oranges.
Throughout the follow up time period of 20 to 22 years, 805 individuals got Parkinson’s disease. The top 20% men with the highest flavonoid consumption were approximately 40% less likely to get Parkinson’s disease compared to the bottom 20% of male individuals with the least amount of flavonoid consumption. There wasn’t any association between overall flavonoid consumption and getting Parkinson’s disease in women. But when flavonoid sub-classes were looked at, regular anthocyanin consumption, which are primarily found in berries, were found to be linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s in both women and men.
The study results indicate that flavonoids, in particular a group known as anthocyanins, could have neuroprotective effects, suggesting that flavonoids could be a healthy and natural approach to reduce the risk of getting Parkinson’s disease
Image Source: Fruit For Health

Effect of the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide on the autophagic activation observed in in vitro and in vivo models of Parkinson's disease.

Jan. 16, 2016

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder that leads to destruction of the midbrain dopaminergic (DA) neurons. This phenomenon is related to apoptosis and its activation can be blocked by the pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP). Growing evidence indicates that autophagy, a self-degradation activity that cleans up the cell, is induced during the course of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the role of autophagy in the pathogenesis of neuronal disorders is yet poorly understood and the potential ability of PACAP to modulate the related autophagic activation has never been significantly investigated. Hence, we explored the putative autophagy-modulating properties of PACAP in in vitro and in vivo models of PD, using the neurotoxic agents 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) and 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP), respectively, to trigger alterations of DA neurons. In both models, following the toxin exposure, PACAP reduced the autophagic activity as evaluated by the production of LC3 II, the modulation of the p62 protein levels, and the formation of autophagic vacuoles. The ability of PACAP to inhibit autophagy was also observed in an in vitro cell assay by the blocking of the p62-sequestration activity produced with the autophagy inducer rapamycin. Thus, the results demonstrated that autophagy is induced in PD experimental models and that PACAP exhibits not only anti-apoptotic but also anti-autophagic properties. 


Lysosomal alterations in peripheral blood mononuclear cells of Parkinson's disease patients.

January 16, 2016

Reduced expression of lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2a and heatshock-cognate 70 proteins, involved in chaperone-mediated autophagy and of glucocerebrosidase, is reported in PD brains. The aim of this study was to identify systemic alterations in lysosomal-associated membrane protein 2a, heatshock cognate-70, and glucocerebrosidase levels/activity in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from PD patients. Protein/mRNA levels were assessed in PD patients from genetically undetermined background, alpha-synuclein (G209A/A53T), or glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers and age-/sex-matched controls. Heatshock cognate 70 protein levels were reduced in all PD groups, whereas its mRNA levels were decreased only in the genetically undetermined group. Glucocerebrosidase protein levels were decreased only in the genetic PD groups, whereas increased mRNA levels and decreased activity were detected only in the glucocerebrosidase mutation group. Reduced heatshock cognate-70 levels are suggestive of an apparent systemic chaperone-mediated autophagy dysfunction irrespective of genetic background. Glucocerebrosidase activity may serve as a screening tool to identify glucocerebrosidase mutation carriers with PD. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society

Friday, January 15, 2016

Biologists gain new insights about how Hox gene controls feeding behaviour

January 15, 2016

In experiments on the fruit fly model organism Drosophila melanogaster, Heidelberg University biologists gained new insight into how feeding behaviour is encoded and controlled. The research team led by Prof. Dr. Ingrid Lohmann of the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) studied the function of a special developmental gene of the Hox gene family. This gene is essential for maintaining a motor unit in the fly's head that consists of a muscle and the stimulating neurons that enable the fly to feed. If the function of the Hox gene was damaged or defective, the unit was not or only partially developed and the animals starved. 

"Animals interact with their environment based on stereotypical movement patterns, such as those performed during running, breathing or feeding," explains Prof. Lohmann, who directs the Developmental Biology research group at the Centre for Organismal Studies. "We have known for some time that a family of regulatory genes known as Hox genes is essential for establishing coordinated movement patterns. But until now we did not understand the molecular underpinnings of feeding behaviour." Using Drosophila melanogaster, Prof. Lohmann's team was able to demonstrate that a specific Hox gene, known as Deformed, controls the establishment of the feeding motor unit not only during the development of the embryo. It is also responsible for maintaining its function in later phases of life, which was revealed when the researchers deactivated Deformed after embryogenesis when the motor unit was successfully formed. Yet the typical movement patterns were lost anyway. The team was able to attribute the loss to major changes at the junctions, or synapses, between the neuron and the muscle.

"Our studies show that Hox genes have a protective function in neurons. As soon as this protection is gone, the neurons degenerate, like we observe in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's," explains Prof. Lohmann. Future studies will be devoted to elucidate how Hox genes perform this protective function at the molecular level. The research project was funded by the German Research Foundation.

Researchers develop novel cell line for screening of brain drugs

January 15, 2016
Researchers from the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Copenhagen have developed a cell line, which may be used to investigate new drugs and help predict whether they are able to enter the brain.
The brain is protected by the so-called blood-brain barrier, a practically impermeable wall in the brain's blood vessels. This dense wall contains lots of proteins, which act as efflux pumps for numerous drug compounds. The research group modelled these two functions of the blood-brain barrier by genetically inserting the human efflux pump, P-glycoprotein, in a cell line with an almost impermeable barrier.
The new cell line can help other scientists and as well as the pharmaceutical industry when they investigate whether or not newly developed drug compounds can enter the brain as well as tumor tissue where the pump normally acts to keep drugs out. Long-term, these findings can also supporting the development of improved treatments for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's diseaseParkinson's disease and brain cancer.
The research has recently been published in the renowned pharmaceutical journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Different degrees of interaction

This new study combines an already existing approach where efflux proteins are inserted in cell lines with culture protocols where only cells with high amounts of efflux pump proteins survive. The capability of these cells to form a tight barrier means that the cell line resembles the blood-brain barrier in terms of low permeability and high pump activity.
"We have developed a tool with the ability to distinguish between different degrees of interaction thus making the cell line valuable for drug discovery and drug development research, but also for simply investigating how P-glycoprotein works," says Group Leader Birger Brodin, Section of Pharmaceutical Design and Drug Delivery, Department of Pharmacy at University of Copenhagen.
"Think of the P-glycoprotein as a bouncer in a nightclub. The bouncer will recognize all unwanted guests and kick them out before they even enter the nightclub, or the brain in this case", adds Birger Brodin. "But if we can test which types of guests the bouncer will let into the club, before expensive and demanding experiments are performed in animals and humans, research can be performed faster and cheaper."

Potential benefits

This research will afford scientists in both academia and the medical industry a new tool for investigating drug uptake in brain tissue and tumors where P-gp is expressed. The cell line is developed in collaboration with Bioneer:FARMA, a business unit of Bioneer A/S. The research group believes that it holds great potential for applied use.
"This new cell line can be used in the selection of new drug compounds. Simple lab experiments using this cell line can indicate if new candidates are able to reach the target tissues or if they are being kept away by the multidrug resistance pump. Our hope is that other scientists will use the cell line and that the pharmaceutical industry will employ the cell line as a tool for screening studies of new drug candidates," Brodin concludes.

Billy Connolly says loving wife Pamela Stephenson has become more like his mother as he battles Parkinson's

Social services failed Parkinson's sufferer and his widow who was accused of his death

Woman cleared of killing her husband as jury rules couple were failed by social services

A pensioner accused of killing her husband who suffered from Parkinson's Disease has been cleared as a court hears social services failed them. 
Joan Downing, 72, was charged with the manslaughter by neglect of her 82-year-old husband Maurice. 
Police accused her of killing him by leaving him lying on the floor of their home for up to seven days, in pools of his own urine and faeces.However a jury of eight men and four women took just an hour to acquit her ruling that social services had failed the couple and left them in an "impossible situation". 
Judge Johanna Cutts told the court that during the investigation into his death Slough Borough Council had admitted closing the case too soon and Mrs Downing's defence barrister suggested that social workers should have persuaded her to take up free social care that had been available to the couple. 
Instead Mrs Downing was left to care for her seriously ill husband, who suffered from Parkinson's Disease in their small family home in Slough, Berkshire. 
Within one month of taking over his care, her husband fell and she was unable to pick him up and he was left on their living room floor for up to seven days. 
When Mrs Downing called an ambulance her husband's injuries were so severe he died in Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, five days later. 
It was also revealed that a health check to establish whether he was eligible for free health care was carried out without her knowledge by a social worker who decided that he did not qualify despite suffering from Parkinson's and having been in and out of hospital on a number of occasions after serious falls. 
Speaking after the verdict, Mrs Downing said: "It was certainly a worry, I myself am 72, I've got health problems. I've got diabetes and I fall over sometimes but I jump back up! 
"I also have had mental issues too, I'm not well myself. I've spent time on psychiatric wards but I have always worked and looked after myself. 
"My husband would be turning in his grave if he saw what I had to go through. It had been a worry, it has all been a worry and I am so relieved."

Slough Borough Council says it will hold an investigation into how the department closes cases and a review is due to be launched into how staff work with other care agencies to ensure other vulnerable people will be "protected" in the future. 
A spokesman for Slough Borough Council said: "It is always with sadness that we learn that someone the council previously supported has died and we offer our condolences to the friends and family of Mr Maurice Downing. 
"Mr Downing was previously supported by the council's adult social care services but upon moving in with his wife, care and support from the council was turned down. 
"Following each capacity assessment, it was deemed that Mr Downing had capacity to make decisions about his care and treatment and as a result social care services provided by the council were refused. Health and social care services continued to monitor Mr Downing's care needs.

Joan Downing at Reading Crown Court  Photo: INS News Agency

"A review into this case by the Slough Safeguarding Adults Board in conjunction with the Safer Slough Partnership has been undertaken and since then a great deal of work has been done to drive forward improvements in social care procedures, particularly around how we close cases where someone with capacity refuses care and support. 
"We have also reviewed how we work with other agencies to support the management and identification of risks when someone with capacity refuses care, and changes have been made to operational procedures. 
"The council is committed to providing high quality social care and support to our vulnerable residents and is determined to learn the lessons from this case so that others are protected in the future." 
Ian Glen QC defending had told the jury Mr Downing should have had two carers. 
"Joan was put in an impossible position," he said. 
"Social services themselves instructed that two carers would be needed for each home visit for Maurice, yet she was left to care for him alone. 
"She did the best she could after social services closed the case too soon. 
"It was a recipe for this tragedy." 
Judge Cutts said, while summing up the case at Reading Crown Court, had said his widow had been worried about the cost of his care. 
"The defendant had knowledge of her husband's ailments and knew how to care for him. She also knew there was help available including her GP, nurses and emergency services," she said. 
"The prosecution says that by the time he was on the floor he was not wearing any nappies and she knew she could not clean him properly at home. He was cold and stiff and unclean. 
"The defence says she was not competent to be a carer as she had no expertise. She was unwell herself and was uncooperative with social services she was worried about the cost of care. This was all known to the authorities. She did her best in all circumstance, all be it that that was incompetent." 
The ordeal lasted 18 months.

Common Dementia Drug Improves Balance in Parkinson’s

January 15, 2016

A commonly prescribed dementia drug, known as rivastigmine, has been found to significantly improve balance and reduce falls in patients with Parkinson’s disease, according to new research published in the journal The Lancet Neurology.
“With the degeneration of dopamine-producing nerve cells, people with Parkinson’s often have issues with unsteadiness when walking. As part of the condition, they also have lower levels of acetylcholine, a chemical which helps us to concentrate — making it extremely difficult to pay attention to walking,” said Dr. Emily Henderson, research fellow at Parkinson’s UK and lead researcher of the study at the University of Bristol.
The findings show that patients with Parkinson’s who were given the oral drug rivastigmine were 45 percent less likely to fall and were considerably steadier while walking, compared to those on placebo.
“Things that may be simple to us, such as walking upstairs or getting up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water, or go to the toilet, are much harder and more dangerous when you could easily fall. You risk breaking bones and then needing an emergency hospital admission,” said Dr. Arthur Roach, Director of Research at Parkinson’s UK.
For the study, a research team at the University of Bristol studied 130 people with Parkinson’s who had fallen in the past year. Half of the group were given rivastigmine capsules and the other half a placebo for a period of eight months.
“We already know that rivastigmine works to treat dementia by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine, however our study shows for the first time that it can also improve regularity of walking, speed, and balance. This is a real breakthrough in reducing the risk of falls for people with Parkinson’s,” said Henderson.
Parkinson’s affects approximately seven million people worldwide. It is estimated that about 70 percent of people with Parkinson’s will fall at least once a year, with over one-third experiencing repeated falls, resulting in fractures, broken bones, and hospital admissions.
“People affected by Parkinson’s, their carers, and health and social care professionals have said that preventing falls and improving balance is the biggest unmet need for people living with the condition, other than finding a cure,” said Roach.
“This trial shows that there may be drugs already available, being used for other purposes, that can be tested to help treat Parkinson’s. This takes us a step closer to improving the quality of life and finding better treatments for people with Parkinson’s.”

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Salk Scientists Discover How Mitochondria Recover after Damage

Salk Scientists Discover How Mitochondria Recover after Damage:   The video shows mitochondria of a cell treated with the toxin rotenone. In as little as 30 minutes, the mitochondrial network is reorganized into smaller particles, a process called mitochondrial fragmentation. Scientists at the Salk Institute have provided a molecular explanation for this phenomenon by showing that activation of a master regulating enzyme called AMPK was required for mitochondrial fragmentation during energy stress.

LA JOLLA--Mitochondria, the power generators in our cells, are essential for life. When they are under attack--from poisons, environmental stress or genetic mutations--cells wrench these power stations apart, strip out the damaged pieces and reassemble them into usable mitochondria.
Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered an unexpected way in which cells trigger this critical response to threats, offering insight into disorders such as mitochondrial disease, cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease--particularly Parkinson's disease, which is linked to dysfunctional mitochondria. The work appears January 15, 2016 in Science.
"Outside marauders come into these power stations of the cell--the mitochondria--and in response, the power stations break into smaller fragments," says Reuben Shaw, senior author and Salk professor in the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory. 
In an average human cell, anywhere from 100 to 500 mitochondria churn out energy in the form of ATP molecules, which act like batteries to carry power to the rest of the cell. At any given time, one or two mitochondria fragment (fission) or reform (fusion) to cycle out any damaged parts. But when a poison--like cyanide or arsenic--or other dangers threaten the mitochondria, a mass fragmentation takes place. 
Researchers have known for years that mitochondria undergo this fragmentation when treated with drugs that affect the mitochondria, but the biochemical details of how the mitochondria damage is sensed and how that triggers the rapid fission response has not been clear until now. 
In the new work, the Salk team found that when cells are exposed to mitochondria damage, a central cellular fuel gauge, the enzyme AMPK, sends an emergency alert to mitochondria instructing them to break apart into many tiny mitochondrial fragments. Interestingly, AMPK is activated by the widely used diabetes therapeutic metformin, as well as exercise and a restricted diet. The new findings suggest that some of the benefits from these therapies may result from their effects in promoting mitochondrial health. 
Prior research by Shaw's group and others had uncovered AMPK's role in helping to recycle damaged mitochondrial pieces as well as signaling to the cell to make new mitochondria. But this new role of rapidly triggering mitochondrial fragmentation "really places AMPK at the heart of mitochondria health and long-term well-being," says Shaw, who is also holder of the William R. Brody Chair. 
To uncover exactly what happens in those first few minutes, the team used the gene editing technique CRISPR to delete AMPK in cells and showed that, even when poison or other threats are introduced to the mitochondria, they do not fragment without AMPK. This indicates that AMPK somehow directly acts on mitochondria to induce fragmentation.
The group then looked at a way to chemically turn on AMPK without sending attacks to mitochondria. To their surprise, they found that activating AMPK alone was enough to cause the mitochondria to fragment, even without the damage. 
"I could not believe how black and white the results were. Just turning on AMPK by itself gives you as much fragmentation as a mitochondrial poison," says Shaw. 
The team discovered why this was: when the cell's power stations are disrupted, the amount of energy floating around a cell--ATP--is lowered. After just a few minutes, AMPK detects this reduction of energy in the cell and hurries to the mitochondria. Like a guard pulling a fire alarm, AMPK activates a receptor on the outside membrane of a mitochondrion to signal it to fragment. 
Drilling down further, the researchers found that AMPK actually acts on two areas of a mitochondrial receptor, called mitochondrial fission factor (MFF), to start the process. MFF calls over a protein, Drp1, that binds and wraps around the mitochondrion like a beaded noose to twist and break it apart. 
"We discovered that the modification of MFF by AMPK is needed for MFF to call over more Drp1 to the mitochondria," says Erin Quan Toyama, one of the first authors of the paper and a Salk research associate. "Without AMPK sending the alarm, MFF cannot call over to Drp1 and there is no new fragmentation of mitochondria after damage."
In the future, the team is interested in addressing what other consequences this signaling pathway has for specific cell types, according to Sébastien Herzig, the other first author of the paper and a Salk research associate. "We want to see what a defect in communication between the mitochondria and AMPK would do to different tissues, particularly ones very dependent on healthy mitochondria, such as brain, muscle and heart," says Herzig.
Adds Toyama, "On one hand, AMPK is known to be important for type 2 diabetes, immune disease and cancer. On the other hand, mitochondrial dysfunction is becoming increasing connected to metabolic diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. We're making some of the first steps in connecting these two things that have major disease implications."
Other authors of the work were Kristina Hellberg and Nathan P. Young of the Salk Institute; Julien Courchet, Tommy L. Lewis Jr. and Franck Polleux of Columbia University; and Oliver C. Losón, Hsiuchen Chen and David C. Chan of the California Institute of Technology. 
The work was funded in part by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, NIH and The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.
About the Salk Institute for Biological Studies:
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies is one of the world's preeminent basic research institutions, where internationally renowned faculty probes fundamental life science questions in a unique, collaborative, and creative environment. Focused both on discovery and on mentoring future generations of researchers, Salk scientists make groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of cancer, aging, Alzheimer's, diabetes and infectious diseases by studying neuroscience, genetics, cell and plant biology, and related disciplines.
Faculty achievements have been recognized with numerous honors, including Nobel Prizes and memberships in the National Academy of Sciences. Founded in 1960 by polio vaccine pioneer Jonas Salk, MD, the Institute is an independent nonprofit organization and architectural landmark.
Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

Daughter of right-to-die campaigner pays tribute to "brave" dad

Gordon Ross, age 65 pictured at home in Glasgow. Gordon, who has Parkinson's disease, is taking legal action to seek the right for help in ending his life protecting anyone who helps him from prosecution..... Photograph by Colin Mearns..6 February 2014.
Rachel Loxton, Reporter /  / 

THE daughter of a campaigner who made legal history when he asked Scotland's top court for guidance on assisted suicide paid tribute to her "brave" dad.

Gordon Ross, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2005, died in the early hours of yesterday, surrounded by his family, at the age of 67.
The grandfather-of-five had been admitted to hospital two weeks ago with pneumonia. Mr Ross died as a result of that and his other medical issues just after midnight.
The former human celebrant and TV producer has opted to donate his brain to research into Parkinson's disease.
Mr Ross, who lived in a care home in Glasgow's South Side, was described as "intelligent and caring".
His condition had deteriorated significantly in the past three years and he could no longer walk or do simple tasks.
His daughter Veronica Ross, 45, said: "We are so proud of dad.
"I've always thought of him as an intelligent and caring man and he's been so brave throughout all of this.
"He was stubbornly independent, which was great and I think that's what's kept him going all this time."
Mr Ross supported the recent Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill and served as a treasurer of 
the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS).

The family said they would wait to find out the outcome of this judgement before deciding how or if they will continue his battle.
As well as Veronica, his children Jennifer, Adam and Jon also supported his campaign.
Mr Ross was a classical music enthusiast, loved the theatre - and used to love knitting Arran jumpers.
One of his close friend's Marbeth Boyle called Mr Ross a "good man". 
The human celebrant added: "He was a very empowered man. He was a very kind man

GyroGlove: New Wearable Glove Steadies Shaking Hands of Parkinson's

January 14, 2016

Twenty-six-year-old Faii Ong of the Imperial College London has come up with a wearable device which sufferers of Parkinson’s disease can wear to steady their trembling hands.
Named GyroGlove because it relies on the dynamics of gyroscopes – rotating mechanism in the form of a universally mounted spinning wheel that offers resistance to turns in any direction – the wearable glove makes the shaking hands of Parkinson’s patients to steady down for daily, normal tasks.
Faii Ong developed the idea to create the GyroGlove when he was a 24-year-old medical student posted to care for a 103-year-old Parkinson’s patient. Ong observed that the hands of the patient shook with considerable tremor and she had great difficulty eating a bowl of soup; and since he had been told that drugs had not been too helpful to patients, Ong decided to explore physics to solve the problem.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by tremor and impaired muscular coordination. The disease affects one in 500 people.
After considering what he could achieve with weights, elastic bands, springs, hydraulics, and even soft robots, Ong settled on gyroscopes – a childhood toy for many kids.
“Mechanical gyroscopes are like spinning tops: they always try to stay upright by conserving angular momentum,” he explained. “My idea was to use gyroscopes to instantaneously and proportionally resist a person’s hand movement, thereby dampening any tremors in the wearer’s hand.”
Together with a number of other young students from ICL, Ong carried out a number of tests in the university’s prototyping laboratory until he fine-tuned his created device, the GyroGlove. It is perhaps the first wearable treatment for steadying hand tremors, and trials showed it reduced hand tremors by as much as 90%.
GyroGlove comes in a simple design which utilizes a miniature but inherently adjustable gyroscope which is placed at the back of the hand in a plastic casing. As soon as it is powered on, the battery-powered gyroscope comes to life.
According to MIT Technology Review, “Its orientation is adjusted by a precession hinge and turntable, both controlled by a small circuit board, thereby pushing back against the wearer’s movements as the gyroscope tries to right itself.”
There is however a problem remaining to be solved before the wearable device goes on sale. “Gyroscopes must be balanced properly according to the speeds at which they are operating,” explained Ong. “Simple as they are, being able to spin them silently and reliably at thousands of RPM is another key challenge.”

The cost of the glove is not known at the moment nor its launching date, but it is hoped to first be released in the UK before September this year for between £400-£600 or $550-$850. After GyroGlove, Ong intends to research into creating steadying devices that will work for leg and body tremors.

Gyenno Brings Health IT to the Table with Smart Fork, Spoon

By Nathan Eddy   |  Posted 2016-01-14 

The Smart Spoon and Fork, with an ergonomic grip, senses tremors and employs robot technology both up and down and side to side to counteract them.

Chinese health IT specialist Gyenno is merging technology, health, big data and the Internet of things (IoT) with the launch of the Smart Spoon and Fork, which counteract hand tremors from Parkinson’s Disease and other conditions by keeping the utensil steady and collects data in the cloud about the patient’s tremors.
In addition, the company’s washable Smart Cup is an interactive cup featuring an LCD screen and provides user feedback. All three products integrate sensors along with data about certain health conditions and sophisticated algorithms.

Between Parkinson’s disease, which is estimated to affect 7 million or more people worldwide, and a neurological condition called Essential Tremors which is even more prevalent, many tens of millions of people worldwide suffer from shaky hands, making it extremely difficult to hold a utensil and eat without spilling.

The Smart Spoon and Fork, with its ergonomic grip, senses the tremor and employs robot technology both up and down and side to side to counteract the tremor and keep the food on the utensil. The company says the utensils are capable of offsetting 85 percent of unwanted tremors.
The Smart Cup’s LCD screen provides continuous feedback to users about how much liquid has been consumed, reminders about how often to drink, the temperature of the liquid and basic data about weather and time.
The Cup also allows users to create custom drinking plans (how much, how frequently), provides friendly reminders, and, because it is a connected device, it also provides notes and reminders so users stay properly hydrated.

"All our products are innovative,” Kang Ren, CEO, Gyenno Technologies, told eWEEK. "We have a team who have more than 10 years’ experience in R&D and manufacturing. The pursuit of innovation and quality push us to achieve the goal."

Ren also noted the company has the cooperation of top Chinese universities to work together on some difficulties, which provide them with more resources to develop their ideas into real products.

Both the Smart Spoon and Fork (sold as a set) are available on Amazon, with the set listed for $299. The Smart Cup will be coming to Amazon soon (available first in China) and will sell for $70-$100. The company also offers a smartphone app which works with the Spoon and Cup.