An excerpt from The Daily Chronicle, by Caitlin Mullen:

Sycamore, IL - For Joanne Schutt of Sycamore, walking has been a struggle for more than 20 years.

After a car accident left her with severe injuries to her legs, she's used orthotics and foot braces to remedy her dragging foot and off-balance walk.

Recently, she found something that's taken away her wobble: the WalkAide, a device designed by Innovative Neurotronics, to help remedy foot drop, which Schutt, 55, experiences when her toes drag. The WalkAide makes the foot lift by pulsing her leg muscle.

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Featured nationally on Good Morning America in January, the WalkAide is about the size of an iPod and is worn around the calf. Using a patented sensor technology called an accelerometer and transmitting data through a Bluetooth connection, the WalkAide sends low level electrical signals directly to a motor nerve in the leg, stimulating the muscles to raise the patient's foot at the appropriate time in the gait cycle.

A study published in the September 2006 edition of the peer-reviewed journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair reports the walking speed of patients wearing the WalkAide increased 15% after three months of use, 32% after six months, and nearly 50% after 12 months. The study also showed the number of steps taken per day by WalkAide users increased significantly over the year.