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The Effect of Step-Synchronized Vibration on Patients With Parkinson's Disease: Case Studies on Subjects With Freezing of Gait or an Implanted Deep Brain Stimulator

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6 Author(s)
Winfree, K.N. ; Univ. of Delaware, Newark, DE, USA ; Pretzer-Aboff, I. ; Hilgart, D. ; Aggarwal, R.
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Identifying noninvasive treatments to alleviate the symptoms of Parkinson's disease (PD) is important to improving the quality of life for those with PD. Several studies have explored the effects of visual, auditory, and vibratory cueing to improve gait in PD patients. Here, we present a wireless vibratory feedback system, called the PDShoe, and an associated intervention study with four subjects. The PDShoe was used on two control subjects, one subject with PD who experienced freezing of gait (FOG), and one subject with PD with an implanted deep brain stimulator (DBS). This short intervention study showed statistically significant improvements in peak heel pressure timing, peak toe pressure timing, time on the heel sensor, and stance to swing ratio after just one week of twice-daily therapy. Thus, step-synchronized vibration applied to the feet of patients with PD may be an effective way to improve gait in those subjects.

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Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:21 ,  Issue: 5 )