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Designed by a 19 year old Patna Girl, Adjustable Walker is a boon for Disabled and Elderly

Sahlini, a teenage girl innovates a walker with flexible legs to facilitate walking in uneven surfaces

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A disabled Person (representative image), Pixabay
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New Delhi, Mar 17, 2017: Special modified walker having adjustable legs designed by a 19 year old girl to help the differently-abled and elderly to climb up and down stairs.

A resident of patna, Shalini Patwari who designed the walker is one of the 14 persons- who are currently living at the Rashtrapati Bhavan for a two-week in-residence programme as guests of the President. The team includes artists, innovators and writers.

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Shalini told the PTI that the idea struck her when she saw her grandfather struggle with the walker while climbing stairs. The traditional walkers are not suitable for walking on uneven surfaces.

“It is really difficult and sometimes impossible for the elderly, differently-abled persons or those recuperating from lower limb problems to climb up or down the stairs using conventional four-leg walkers,” she said.

Shalini noted through observations that the four-legged walkers were not flexible and failed to provide support while climbing stairs, so making them flexible was the key.

“My grandfather enjoyed walking on the terrace, but found it difficult to walk up the stairs. It was then I decided to prepare a modified walker with adjustable legs,” Shalini said.

Shalini sent her proposal to make modified adjustable walkers to the National Innovation Foundation (NIF), an autonomous body of the Department of Science and Technology set up to provide institutional support to innovators, and her idea was appreciated by officials who assured her all possible help in making her dream project a reality.

With the help of the NIF, the walker was finally prepared with self locking, spring loaded front legs Shalini said. For her innovation, Shalini has won a number of awards including the IGNITE award of the NIF.

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The modified walker, costing nearly Rs 3000, has an innovative self-locking mechanism which enables the front legs to be raised while climbing up stairs, and to be lowered while climbing down.

“It is very stable, light weight, adjustable to all sizes of stairs and can also be used while walking on inclined surface. This walker is useful for children, elderly people and specially abled persons,” she said.

The walker has been designed ergonomically and weighs four kilograms. The walker is suitable for use by anyone, irrespective of the person’s weight and height.

Shalini said that a number of companies had shown interest in her innovation and she hopes it will be soon available in the markets.

The participants of the In-Residence Programme said they were deeply thankful to the President as they got an opportunity to interact with prominent people, including ministers.

“It has been an amazing experience living here at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. I met President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday with the group. I feel encouraged and motivated after meeting him,” she said.

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The group includes artists Dheeraj Yadav and Rahul Shailendra Kokate, writers Dr Ashokkumar P Chavda and Prabal Kumar Basu, and innovators Surjeet Singh, Moa Subong, Girish Badragond, Mansukhabhai Prajapati, Subhash Ola, Paresh Panchal, Santosh Pachar, Ajay Kumar Sharma, Shalini Kumari and Akash Manoj.

They said that they were infused with fresh energy and enthusiasm after meeting the President and were determined to contribute to the welfare of the society in their own way.

– prepared by Nikita Saraf, Twitter: @niki_saraf

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Study: Gout May Increase Dementia Risk in Elderly

Gout -- a very common condition -- is caused by deposits of crystals of a substance called uric acid (also known as urate) in the joints, which leads to inflammation

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Study: Gout May Increase Dementia Risk in Elderly
Study: Gout May Increase Dementia Risk in Elderly . (IANS)

Elderly people suffering from gout may have 17-20 per cent higher risk of dementia, suggests a new study by a team that includes an Indian-origin researcher.

Gout — a very common condition — is caused by deposits of crystals of a substance called uric acid (also known as urate) in the joints, which leads to inflammation.

Periods of time when patients are experiencing gout symptoms are called flares. Flares can be unpredictable and debilitating, developing over a few hours and causing severe pain in the joints.

“Our study found a considerable increased risk of dementia associated with gout in the elderly,” said co-author Jasvinder Singh, a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, in the US.

For the study, presented at the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology (EULAR 2018), the researchers included 1.23 million Medicare beneficiaries, of which 65,325 had incident dementia.

Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds With Raised Blood Pressure
Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds raises with Blood Pressure . Pixabay

In an analysis which was adjusted for various potential confounding variables including demographics, comorbidities and commonly used medications, the results showed that gout is independently associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia.

The association was larger in older age groups, females, black race, and people with higher medical comorbidity.

Subgroup analyses indicated that gout was associated with a significant 20-57 per cent increase in dementia in patients without key comorbidities; coronary artery disease (CAD), hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes or hypertension.

Also Read: Study: Dementia Risk to 50-year-olds With Raised Blood Pressure

However, this was not the case in patients with each of these comorbidities, except in patients with CAD, the researchers said.

Guidelines for the treatment of gout recommend lowering uric acid levels, although maintaining too low levels is a concern because uric acid is thought to protect the brain, they added.

“Further study is needed to explore these relationships and understand the pathogenic pathways involved in this increased risk,” Singh noted. (IANS)