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ODU and Sentara studying new technology to better diagnose Parkinson’s disease

Old Dominion University and researchers from Sentara Healthcare are teaming up to detect Parkinson’s disease in a more timely fashion.

One of the most common signs of oncoming Parkinson’s is a change in walking patterns. And with the help of ODU and Sentara’s study, this characteristic could become the key to diagnosing the disease.

A team of researchers led by ODU professor Steven Morrison hope new fitness-tracking technology can recognize early signs of Parkinson’s.

The potentially groundbreaking technology comes in the form of a sock, and works a lot like Fitbit, the popular workout product. When a patient wears the sock, the technology can assess walking behaviors, such as balance and flexibility.

This critical data can then be used by medical professionals to accurately diagnose symptoms.

Researchers will conduct two phases of tests on this product. This first phase will feature college students wearing the socks, with the next phase focusing on seniors.