New hope for atypical Parkinson's patients

Immediate: Parkinson's sufferer John Mutton says the Isodynamic REVIVER device works for him. Picture: John Veage
Immediate: Parkinson's sufferer John Mutton says the Isodynamic REVIVER device works for him. Picture: John Veage

Atypical Parkinson patients will be the first to be tested,now that the Caringbah Isodynamics Corporation has had funding approval from the Federal Government.

Money will go towards clinical trials carried out by neuroscientists at Monash University, in conjunction with the CSIRO, of the locally produced Isodynamics REVIVER neuromuscular medical device.

Their rehabilitation clinic on 59 Cawarra Road has been achieving visible results using the device to exercise and naturally fire up the body’s neural and nervous pathways and the lymphatic systems, for patients with a wide range of diseases including Parkinson's disease.

The trial’s approval has come from Parkinson’s patients, who reported improved balance, strength and mobility, with some patients even regaining their ability to swim, clap and walk backwards.

Parkinson’s disease is a brain condition that affects movement and coordination. Nerve cells die, and eventually a patient loses muscle control.

Atypical Parkinson’s is sometimes diagnosed initially as Parkinson’s. One of the main differences between the two conditions is that atypical Parkinsonism symptoms tend to come on earlier. Problems with balance, muscle freezing, thinking skills, speech, and swallowing, show up sooner. They also progress faster.

Cronulla’s John Mutton was diagnosed with Parkinson’s three years ago, but says he feels like he has had the condition for eight.

“I found I couldn't coordinate with my swimming and developed a shake in my left hand,” he said.

“I found this place by accident after the diagnosing clinicians told me to exercise more and get my heart rate up. Here you can make it as hard or as easy as you like. It improved my balance immediately and I could swim again.

“It's only 10 or 15 minutes a day on the device and costs me $30 a week membership. I've been tested three times and haven't got any worse in 12 months – I've actually got stronger and quicker.”

There are 100,000 Parkinson’s sufferers in Australia with 11,000 being diagnosed each year.

Isodynamics consultant Stephen Moss says exercise is the best treatment.

“Atypical Parkinson’s is a perfect control study because it cant be cured with drugs, so there are no alternatives,” he said.

“We are a new device with credibility. We are doing it properly but can't make any formal claims until we have the results.”

The Isodynamic REVIVER machines are Australian made and are produced nearby in Meta Street by Craig Glenn and Ross Dean from Cross Precision Machining.

These trials are designed to show how the REVIVER device can help manage the disease and reduce suffering.

They are being conducted by Monash University in conjunction with the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne.

The groundbreaking trials are also being funded in part through a Commonwealth Innovation Connections grant, facilitated by the CSIRO SME Connect team.

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