Parkinson’s disease is the world’s fastest developing neurological ailment, characterized by involuntary or uncontrollable movements. Charco Neurotech, a company dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s, has designed a device named CUE1 to alleviate several symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

The company has received initial investment from the Imperial College Enterprise Fund, along with $10 million in a round-headed investment by Amadeus Capital Partners and Parkwalk Advisors. Recently, the team has also collaborated with the Queen Mary University of London on research as a part of a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) to test the operation of its technology. 

Patients with Parkinson’s rely on pharmacological therapy to reduce their symptoms. CUE1 may offer a non-pharmaceutical aid to conventional treatment. The cutting-edge medical technology has been developed as a consequence of research into the effect of vibration on the symptoms of the disease. Back in the 19th century, a French neurologist named Jean-Martin Charcot first observed that patients with Parkinson’s disease who traveled to his office fared better in terms of clinical symptoms than when he went to visit them at their homes. Consequently, he hypothesized that the vibrations from the train rides to his office relieved their symptoms.

Working on the same line, this pebble-sized device employs pulsed cueing and concentrated vibrotactile stimulation to mitigate symptoms such as slow gait and body stiffness, leading to improved mobility. 

It is a non-invasive device that can be attached to the sternum with medical adhesives or worn as an accessory. The device delivers targeted vibration to the chest, which in turn signals the brain to reduce beta wave activity (which is a common factor for people with Parkinson’s). The preclinical study shows that it may help lessen symptoms such as slowness as well as overall balance issues.