TAME: Bringing stability to life!

During its short run, FICS has seen many amazing projects pass through its doors. Among them is the winner of FICS’16, an initiative known as TAME. The objective of these highly motivated individuals is to provide relief to patients of wrist tremors. Earning numerous accolades, Team TAME participated in multiple national and international competitions with great success. Their phenomenal victory at the Stanford Longevity Design Challenge 2017 won them high acclaim from major national publications. With their dedication and perseverance, Project TAME has become a source of pride for NUST and all of Pakistan within a year’s time.

 

What is the idea behind Project Tame?

TAME, an acronym of Tremor Acquisition and Minimization, aims to provide a cost effective, non invasive solution to a type of rhythmic pathological wrist tremors. Wrist tremors are involuntary muscle spasms that make the hand shake or vibrate against the person’s wishes. Many simple everyday tasks such as holding a glass or writing are made highly difficult or even impossible for patients by such uncontrollable movements. This involuntary loss of control over one’s hand has made as many as 280 million people virtually dependent on others for even the most basic of tasks.So far scientists are at loss as to what causes this disease (possible associations are to Parkinson’s disease or Essential tremors (ET) and thus, it is so far incurable. However through TAME, it can be suppressed enough to allow the affected individuals to lead fairly ordinary lives.

How does TAME work?

TAME uses a novel idea dubbed Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) to supply transcutaneous voltage to a small group of muscles to counter the effect of Essential Tremors. These small muscles move opposite to the muscles moved by the disease in real time which cancels out the effect of the disease allowing the hand to stay still. This is done through a device mounted on the patient’s arm which can easily be concealed by the sleeve of a shirt allowing them to easily blend in with other people. The device does not restrict the person’s physical mobility and does not affect voluntary muscle movements.

 

TAME’s progress after FICS:

TAME continues to strive towards progress by participating in various international and local competitions to raise funding. They have so far developed two prototypes and carried out  patient trials in Fauji Foundation Hospital after acquiring ethical approvals. An active website with contact information and updates to their recent activities is also maintained by Team TAME.

The concern this initiative shows towards easing the suffering of one of the world’s least understood diseases bodes well for the future of Pakistan. It demonstrates the Pakistani youth’s global outlook and their will to resolve the world’s problems. That being said, TAME is definitely a step in the right direction.

 

By

Noman Zuberi

FICS’18 Team Publications

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