What People With MS Are Saying About PoNS®
These stories are from individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) who improved their gait (ability to walk) through PoNS Therapy® and dedicated neurologists and PoNS Trainers who witnessed positive patient outcomes.
Individual results and experiences may vary. Talk to your healthcare provider to see if PoNS is right for you.*
*PoNS was authorized for use in the US in March 2021.
Meet Kevin Byrne:
In His Words
“After living with MS since 1999, gait difficulties took away my most valued treasure: quality adventures with my 13-year-old daughter. My focused PoNS therapy helped me improve my walking, and as a result of my improved walking I experienced freedoms such as increased walking speed, endurance, and distance. As a reward for her support and motivation, Rogue and I will vacation in New York City to walk the streets of Manhattan and enjoy our favorite Broadway musicals! Thank you for the experiences I thought were lost forever.”
I have been living with MS for 35 years and have just completed my 14 week of PoNS Therapy. I am impressed with the results. The difference is apparent on before- and after- videos of me on the treadmill, and I feel steadier and more self-assured in my overall ability to move. I feel my improved gait since PoNS has led me to attempt things such as parking further from an entrance to a store or across the street from my destination instead of circling the block to find a closer spot. As a result of my improved walking, I was able to participate in a more active excursion on my vacation, such as walking, swimming, and scrambling through an underground cave in the Yucatan. My starting speed on the treadmill went from 1.3 to 2.6 during the protocol. PoNS Therapy was a serious commitment of time and energy but the improvements in my gait, at least for me, have changed my life.
I was diagnosed with MS when I was 15 years old. At the time, I believed that this was a good time to have a diagnosis like this. Science is cool and new medications were on the horizon. That was true. Nearly 22 years later, I am privileged to say that I have been given access to all of the newest scientific things. I’ve been part of clinical trials. I’ve had early access to new drugs. I’ve experimented with taking care of myself in different ways, some of which I felt helpful, most of which, have left me feeling disappointed and disheartened. My MS condition has progressed to secondary progressive disease, despite my best efforts.
If you told me that stimulating my tongue with a PoNS would improve my walking, I wouldn’t have believed you. While I use my walker to help me move, I’m not bearing weight on it, my bodyweight not shifting from side to side. I stand up straight, my shoulders are back, and my neck is long. My right leg, the one that has moved a bit like a tin leg, bends.
I don’t know that there’s ever a good time to have a neurodegenerative disease, age and wisdom, or something, but for me the technology made accessible by Helius is a great thing. And I’m excited to see what happens next.
“I was diagnosed with MS 8 years ago. After my diagnosis, I couldn’t do much, most of my days were spent on the couch. I knew I needed to do something to help me be able to walk. I learned about PoNS through an email from the MS Society and decided to give it a try.
Although the therapy was a commitment, and my 14-weeks occurred over the holidays, it gave me incentive to try harder. The exercises were easy to follow and complete at home. Thanks to PoNS® I am looking forward to walking to my daughter’s house which is close by.”
“Though filled with hope when first learning about PoNS®, I had convinced myself to take the “wait and see” approach.”
“Then I found Novah Healthcare, with Clinic Director Dr. Trung Ngo and Resident Physiotherapist Asha Chaudhary. Their altruistic approach and flexibility to my availability were amazing. As a result of the customized program they put together with the PoNS® device, there was significant improvement in my gait.”
“I will say that the PoNS® program was quite a vigorous workout for me, especially the first few weeks.”
“Propel Physiotherapy did a great job prescribing and modifying the exercises to suit my condition. My walking distance (with a rollator) improved substantially.”
“As someone who has had MS for over 40 years, I viewed PoNS® as something to not only expand my rehabilitation routine, but to push me both physically and mentally.”
“While I encountered barriers along the way and progress was slow and steady, my walking with assistance is much better when completing my exercises and daily activities.”
“I was diagnosed with progressive MS 13 years ago. I had explored different therapies but have only had success with PoNS.”
“The program was time-consuming and physically challenging, but as the song says, ‘If you want a rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.’ At the end of 14 weeks, I had significant measured distance gains in gait.”
“I was diagnosed with MS over 20 years ago and have Secondary Progressive MS. I’ve been using a walker for quite some time and adjusted my gait pattern to compensate for any changes.”
“While the 14-week program was a big commitment, PoNS Therapy® resulted in improvements in my gait. I can walk using walking poles and can walk farther than I did prior to the therapy. It was very encouraging to see improvements in my walking.”
Finding the Support She Needed
“PoNS Therapy® enabled me to improve my walking. Some tasks seem easier, which makes my daily life better.”
“My walking has improved enough that I rely on walking support devices, like a cane, less often.”
Gaining Confidence Again
“When my physiotherapist told me they’d be offering PoNS Therapy® at my clinic, I was very excited. Overall, I found the 14-week program easy to follow, if a bit time-consuming. Initially, I was frustrated by the lack of progress I saw, but by the end of the program, my gait and walking ability improved.”
“For me, PoNS Therapy® was not a cure, but I feel the device was easy to use and the therapy improved my walking ability.”
Going the Extra Mile
“After meeting and discussing my personal needs with Dr. Cline and Marcela at the Cline Medical Centre in Nanaimo, without hesitation I knew I had to give PoNS® my very best effort. With their heartfelt encouragement and excellent training program, I recognized improvements in my gait.”
“To sum up the 14-week program, I can now walk slowly—forwards and sideways—on the treadmill unsupported, and backwards hanging on with one hand! It is so encouraging to know there is help for those of us with MS as long as one is willing to go that extra mile.”
Climbing Stairs to Success
“Hope is a dangerous thing with MS, so I entered PoNS Therapy® with cautious optimism. My caution turned to encouragement as I saw improvements in my gait!”
“Prior to my treatment I walked the stairs by stepping up with my right leg and dragging my left leg even, but now I experience periods every day where I walk up the stairs normally. I’ve experienced really encouraging results from my PoNS Therapy®.”
The Path to Managing My MS
“PoNS Therapy® was the next step for me in my MS journey after being diagnosed almost 15 years ago. It was exciting but is a lot of work and a big commitment. My wonderful PoNS® Trainer worked with me diligently, answered all of my many questions, kept me motivated and provided different strategies when I got discouraged.”
“At the end of the 14-week program I noticed an improvement in my gait, which I was very happy about. The PoNS Therapy® program is a wonderful journey to embark upon.”
Dr. Naseem Chatiwala, PT, DPT, MS, NCS
“As a physical therapist, I have worked with many patients with neurological deficits. When I heard about PoNS, I had doubts that tongue-based electrical stimulation could effectively retrain the brain to improve walking ability. But as I worked with Anna, the improvement was undeniable. I’m excited about using PoNS with more patients”.
Emily Craigen, PT, DPT
“My first experience with PoNS Therapy has been a true success! I have worked with a fabulous patient with multiple sclerosis for over 9 years. Our primary focus in traditional outpatient physical therapy involved strengthening and balance training in order to maintain her function. While her functional abilities had only declined slightly over the past 3-4 years, her abilities really had not improved. This patient required heavy assistance from a wheeled walker for ambulation. Additionally, she would get quite fatigued with activity and this limited her ability to independently ambulate in the community safely for longer periods of time. On average, the patient was able to tolerate gait training on level even surfaces with her walker or on a treadmill for about 5-10 mins before she needed a rest. Her gait deviations included a significant drop foot on the right and minimal active hip flexion which resulted in a compensatory gait pattern of circumduction.
After completing 14 weeks of PoNS Therapy at our clinic, I was amazed to see significant improvements in all areas of function for this patient! Her walking tolerance is now 20-30 minutes and she has been able to transition to the use of bilateral Loftstrand crutches, which have provided her with much improved accessibility as well as helped to reduce strain on her shoulders. Her balance improved such that the patient is now able to walk more comfortably. Additionally, the patient’s compensatory hip circumduction has decreased significantly due to improved active strength and coordination of the right hip flexor which has resulted in a steadier gait.”
Morgan Dux, ClearCut ORTHO
“My first experience with implementing the PoNS device and protocol into treatments was seamless and effective in ensuring compliance in the home exercise program. Prior to treatments, I was able to review frequency of the home exercise program, which aided in compliance through the program protocol for maximum results. The device is easy to use and the large screen allowed me to monitor and plan the treatment times with ease. I will look forward to the next opportunity I may have to treat a patient using the PoNS device.”
REFERENCE: Helius Medical, Inc. Portable Neuromodulation Stimulator (PoNS) Real-World Evidence Study. August 2, 2020.