RAYMOND, Ohio, USA, February 4, 2019 - Honda R&D Americas, Inc. announced today that they and The Ohio State University have been awarded a grant by The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF) to research the safety and potential positive impact that Honda's Walking Assist Device could have in helping people with Parkinson's disease (PD).
The research partners will conduct a Phase II randomized controlled trial to study the impact of an eight week intervention using the Walking Assist Device to improve mobility in people with PD.
"We have a large body of evidence which suggests that the Honda Walking Assist Device safely and effectively improves the mobility of individuals affected by stroke," said Kenton Williams, one of the lead research engineers at Honda R&D Americas for the Walking Assist Device development. "We are excited to understand how the device also can help support individuals with other neurological conditions such as PD."
Jamie Hamilton, PhD, Associate Director at MJFF, says, "Many people with Parkinson's disease experience gait and balance issues, but there are few treatment options that fully alleviate these challenges. This project has the potential to address this unmet need and improve quality-of-life for Parkinson's patients."
Drs. Anne Kloos and Deb Kegelmeyer from Ohio State's School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences will lead the study. The goal of the research will be to understand the long- and short-term impact of mechanical gait assistance on the ease and efficiency of walking in people with Parkinson's disease.
People with Parkinson's disease experience difficulty participating in meaningful activities in their homes and communities due to problems with walking, said Dr. Anne Kloos. The study aims to determine whether walking training using the Honda Walking Assist Device can help people with Parkinson's disease to walk better and be more active in their daily life activities.
The research with the Honda Walking Assist Device will begin in early 2019 at the OSU School of Health and Rehabilitation Science, with results anticipated the following year. The lightweight, robotic device is intended for use by people who can walk, but have gait deficits due to stroke. Worn orthotically on the user's waist and legs, it facilitates more efficient and symmetrical walking patterns, enabling the patient to walk faster and farther. Honda is not currently commercializing the product in North America and has not announced plans for the device at this time.
Honda R&D Americas, Inc.
Operating 14 facilities in the United States, Honda R&D Americas, Inc. (HRA) was incorporated in 1984 after beginning operations in California in 1975. HRA is responsible for creating advanced products and technologies that provide new value to Honda and Acura customers. HRA conducts all phases of product development in the U.S., from market and technology research and styling through engineering design to prototype fabrication and testing, local parts procurement and support for mass production preparation.
With major facilities in California, Ohio, North Carolina and Florida, HRA is engaged in the development and testing of Honda and Acura automobiles, Honda power sports and power equipment products, and is also playing a lead role in the development of leading-edge safety, driver assistive and environmental technologies. Learn more at http://www.hondaresearch.com/
About The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
As the world's largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson's research, The Michael J. Fox Foundation is dedicated to accelerating a cure for Parkinson's disease and improved therapies for those living with the condition today. The Foundation pursues its goals through an aggressively funded, highly targeted research program coupled with active global engagement of scientists, Parkinson's patients, business leaders, clinical trial participants, donors and volunteers. In addition to funding more than $800 million in research to date, the Foundation has fundamentally altered the trajectory of progress toward a cure. Operating at the hub of worldwide Parkinson's research, the Foundation forges groundbreaking collaborations with industry leaders, academic scientists and government research funders; increases the flow of participants into Parkinson's disease clinical trials with its online tool, Fox Trial Finder; promotes Parkinson's awareness through high-profile advocacy, events and outreach; and coordinates the grassroots involvement of thousands of Team Fox members around the world. For more information, visit www.michaeljfox.org.