Support Parkinson's patients
"Almost everyone knows the stories of people who have suffered from a stroke and as a result of this have permanent brain damage. My research aims to improve the brain function by repairing the damaged nerves using a combination of nano- and tissue engineering with brain stimulation. An example of this is using smart glasses (such as the Google Glass) to provide feedback on how the patient is walking. Will you help me to improve the mobility and independence of this growing group of patients?"
Dr. ir. Ciska Heida, assistant professor at the Faculty of Electrical Engineering/ Mathematics/ Computer Science and the Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine MIRA
Each year the Twente University Fund selects a medical research project. This year we chose the research performed by Ciska Heida.
Parkison's is a disease where nerve cells in the midbrain slowly die off. These nerve cells are responsable for the production of dopamine. Parkinson's disease is relatively common. It is estimated that 44.000 people in the Netherlands suffer from Parkinson's disease. This typically starts at a later age (between 50 and 60 years old). Only a small portion of the patients (around 10%) is younger than 40 years old.
Parkinson's disease is a progressive disease. This results in the fact that the symptoms become worse the longer someone suffers from the disease. It is not (yet) possible to cure Parkinson's, but there are medication and treatments to combat the symptoms, resulting in an improved quality of life. Ciska Heida's research aims to improve the quality of life for these patients even further.