A college freshman discovers a hand stabilizer device that allows him to perform basic tasks without shaking. After many years of suffering with severe hand tremors since childhood, Mark Lowell finally experiences stability in his life for the first time with an anti-tremor device called Tremelo. Lowell no longer has to question his ability to live independently with shaking arms and hands that affect critical tasks on a daily basis, such as eating, drinking or writing. Instead, he can leave his daily struggles with tremor behind him to focus all his energy on enjoying life as a young man and his first semester of college thanks to Tremelo.
When Lowell was three years old, his mother noticed that his fingers and hands would shake. It progressed quickly during his childhood and through high school. He endured the struggles to accomplish basic tasks every day because of the uncontrollable shaking in his arms and body. According to Lowell, the tremor affected every part of his life. Sometimes it would immobilize him for hours making it difficult to attend school. Lowell shares, “I couldn’t drive anymore… I couldn’t write. I couldn’t draw. Even when I would eat, I couldn’t use a spoon, a knife or a fork. Whenever I tried to eat, like a burger or something, it would usually end up going up my nose.”
After visiting over fifteen medical professionals, Lowell believes that he suffers mainly from “active” tremor. Active tremor is the tremor that occurs instantly in a person’s arm only while they’re actively doing something with their arm, such as eating, drinking or writing. The tremor can be so severe to the point of debilitating a person’s ability to control their arms against the shaking. The most common movement disorder involving action tremor is essential tremor. Currently, there is no known cause for essential tremor despite there being over ten million Americans affected by it and many worldwide. However, it has been observed that essential tremor often runs in families and can start at any age.
Lowell needed a device to calm the shaking so that he could regain some control of his arms and hands. Designed by Dr. The “Leo” Nguyen at Five Microns, Tremelo has allowed many people with action tremor to live enabled with stable hands. The Tremelo is a novel, wearable arm brace with a built-in, small mass that shakes back and forth against tremor motion. It uses the principle of energy absorption, called tuned mass damper that is normally found to steady planes, bridges and tall buildings, to counteract the shaking in hands. It can reduce tremor in the arms by 85-90%.
Lowell’s life changed instantly when he tried the Tremelo. “The biggest thing I noticed immediately was I could eat again,” Lowell confirms, “and it was kind of important to me.” He noticed a significant improvement in his abilities to drive, write, type on his computer and pet his dog “without slapping” its face, as Lowell described. In fact, he is proud of being able to help around the house with chores doing his laundry or cleaning the bathroom. In addition, he gained the ability to play video games with his friends. Lowell jokingly says, “I was really bad at video games, then all of a sudden my friends were like ‘Mark! What happened?’”
With the Tremelo, Mark Lowell currently enjoys life with steady hands and has high hopes for his future. He feels that more life opportunities are available to him because the Tremelo allows him to have control over his hand wherever he goes. Lowell was able to attend classes in-person and graduate with his high school diploma. “The Tremelo and the dystonia medication have been real blessings from God,” Lowell states, “Now I can actually think about going to work in an observatory and moving a telescope. So it kind of opens up a lot.” Lowell has the confidence to enter his freshman year at the University of Arizona and to become a quantum physicist studying quantum chromodynamics. Lowell comments, “It’s a long road and there’s a lot of twists and turns. Often you don’t know what’s going to happen next, but at least for me I found a treatment that works.”
For more about Mark Lowell’s success with Tremelo to overcome hand tremor, visit fivemicrons.com for his full testimony.