Parkinsons Next Step Walking Aid debuts on Retail Shelves at Kerr Drugs: latest on health

The Parkinsons Next Step Cane, a proven walking aid designed specifically for Parkinsons patients suffering from freezing of gait, or the inability to walk, is now available at it’s first Retail location, Kerr Drug’s newest Pharmacy in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

November 18, 2009 – Raleigh, N.C. – With the opening today of the latest new location in the East 54 Center in Chapel Hill for Kerr Drugs, sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease will be able to find the proven walking aid, the NextStep® cane available for sale on the shelves of a retail drug store for the first time.
“The NextStep® Cane offers a tested solution for Parkinson’s patients that are affected by Freezing, and restores their mobility. The Cane and Walker made by NextStep® are part of the service that Kerr Drugs provides to patients that suffer from a wide variety of symptoms associated with the disease.” according to Kerr Drugs CEO Anthony Civello.
Freezing is when the natural flow of movement is hampered. It refers to sudden, temporary difficulty initiating or continuing a movement, such as a step. The patient can actually feel as if they are “frozen” to the floor.
“It can be a significant problem,” says Raleigh NextStep® inventor Mike Tucker. “People with this symptom don’t feel comfortable going out in public, because you never know when a freeze will happen. I invented the NextStep® for my own use to free myself of that fear. Now, after using it for several years, and follow up testing with over 100 NextStep® canes in service, we know the product helps Parkinsons patients immediately. And I want every other Parkinson’s shut-in to feel the same sense of independence I do.”

Before the NextStep® Parkinson’s patients have, over the years, learned “tricks” to help interrupt freezing. One of these is to place a visual target or obstacle in front of the foot that is “stuck” to the floor. For example, someone can place their foot just in front of the patient’s “frozen” foot, and suddenly the patient can step over the foot and start walking again.
What Tucker has invented is a medically sound walking aid that consistently breaks a Parkinson’s freeze with the use of the visual cue wand – an obstruction that allows the sufferer to take their next step.

The NextStep® walking aid automatically extends a metal visual cue wand from the base of a walking cane and is used like a normal cane. Tucker says that at the stage of Parkinson’s when freezing occurs, most sufferers are already using canes. When freezing occurs, the visual cue wand is set to appear when the cane makes contact with the floor. The wand provides an obstacle to step over, thus beginning the walking process. The wand automatically raises when the cane does and lowers when the cane contacts the floor.
There are over 5,000 Triangle Parkinson’s sufferers. And, with over a million Parkinson’s stricken Americans, most notably Michael J. Fox and Mohammed Ali, Tucker’s invention will significantly improve the quality of life for tens of thousands whose Parkinson’s symptoms include “freezing”.
The Parkinson’s community, which includes patients, their caregivers, and doctors (typically neurologists) have reacted with intrigue and interest when shown the NextStep.® Dr. Joel Trugman, a renowned neurologist and medical authority, who has researched Parkinson’s for decades, worked with Tucker during the development and testing stages of the NextStep.®

“Freezing” is an unusual and poorly understood neurological phenomenon,” said Trugman. “It typically occurs when the patient’s medication is not performing or has worn off. The condition can occur at any time of the day. Most sufferers have trouble in crowded areas and in small, narrow places.”

Dr. Trugman explained that it has been known for many years that patients respond and can start walking if they can step over an object placed in front of them. He states that the NextStep® is a practical solution that will be a significant advance for patients with Parkinson’s and other causes of freezing of gait. “It’s nothing short of miraculous.”
The latest Kerr Drugs location in the New East 54 Center, at 1106 Environ Way in Chapel Hill, is Kerr Drug’s vision of the pharmacy of the future. The new Store includes a full service pharmacy and complete health care center, along with a natural and organic food store.
Parkinsons NextStep® was founded by inventor Mike Tucker a former president of a successful security consulting firm, and Raleigh real estate developer Scott Dawson Jr. Their device has been called by users no less than “a miraculous breakthrough” for Parkinson’s patients. “I knew from the first moment I saw the NextStep® work with Mike that it was going to change thousands of people’s lives,” Dawson said. “Being independent and free from fear will change lives. I was in.”

Tucker’s invention, the NextStep® , became his mission – to help fellow sufferers find freedom from the disease.

Additional Background on Parkinsons NextStep® is available at
Additional information about Kerr Drugs is available at
Parkinsons NextStep® – Scott Dawson Jr. 1-888-344-7837
Kerr Drugs – Frank Graff 919-459-8168,

Press Contact:
Frank Manson
Parkinson Next Step, LLC
3227 Wellington Court, Raleigh, NC 27615
1-888-344-STEP (7837
Email partially hidden to block spam. Please use the contact form here.

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