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New device helping patients make strides in walking again

"It gives me hope," said one patient.
Posted at 6:30 AM, Oct 25, 2023

ROCKY RIVER, Ohio — From one day to the next Christine Evans’ life changed.

“I could no longer ice skate, I couldn’t play tennis, I couldn’t ride a bike,” said Evans.

She said her hand started twitching when she walked, and her foot started turning in front of her. Roughly 20 years ago, she was diagnosed with a rare disorder.

“My vertebral artery has a dolichoectasia in it, which means that the artery is twisted, Evans explained.

Evans said she didn’t have any treatment options until one day.

“I actually saw the Neural Sleeve on TV one night when I was cooking dinner and they were showing people that had had strokes and MS and they were walking with it and I’m in my kitchen and I went oh my gosh I have to get one of these,” said Evans.

Back in March of 2022, we told you about Neural Sleeve. The company had just been given FDA clearance. Now, we are following through as doctors are prescribing the device. Evans has been using her Neural Sleeve for about six weeks.

“Immediately once everything was set up it just made my leg feel so much stronger and I didn’t have to drag it, and it was absolutely amazing,” Evans said.

The medical device is a huge stride for people with neurological issues according to the company.

“It’s indicated for people with upper motor neuron disorders which is things like MS, stroke, cerebral palsy, and then spinal related diseases," said Jon Sakai, Director of Commercialization Cionic.

There is an app with personalized instructions from a human to help patients.

“It’s a functional electrical stimulation device so it has sensors to measure movement and then it delivers low levels of stimulation through these pads directly to your muscles through your skin,” said Sakai.

The idea was born out of necessity. The founder of the company is a dad who was searching for answers. “Jeremiah’s daughter Sophia was born with Cerebral palsy. Jeremiah was seeing you know driverless cars start to show up in San Franciso and said there’s got to be a better mouse trap, better technology available than what’s available today. So that was really the motivation, so truly mission-driven,” explained Brian Kolonick, vice president of strategy at Cionic.

The technology is benefiting hundreds of patients.

“Being able to improve individual’s lives was the goal and now we’re seeing that come to fruition,” added Kolonick.

Neural Sleeve caught the attention of Time Magazine which just named it a Time Best Invention of 2023.

“It’s been absolutely amazing,” she said. “It gives me hope,” Evans added.

Rest of the story goes here.

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