So, flirting with being late for her 6:30 evening train, she pulled on the tight black gloves, climbed into a brushed-steel booth, and within a minute was wobbling on a treadmill, a blurry image in front of her, hot air blowing against her back.
Her fingertips vibrated insistently.
"I never thought that the tingling in the hands would be so bothersome," said Gonzalez, a doctor at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York who has a number of patients with multiple sclerosis, a disease in which the central nervous system slowly deteriorates.
The machine, commissioned for the meeting by Cambridge drug maker Biogen Idec Inc. and Elan Pharmaceuticals Inc., drew a line of doctors like Gonzalez who were curious to experience how it might feel to have a perplexing disease known for its random, debilitating attacks on the brain and spine. With a video, headphones, and two wobbly treadmill tracks, the machine attempted to mimic the lack of coordination, blurred vision, and other signs of an attack.
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