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Laserlight visual cueing device for freezing of gait in Parkinson’s disease: a case study of the biomechanics involved

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  • C. J. Egerton
  • P. McCandless
  • B. Evans
  • J. Janssen
  • J. D. Richards
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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>3/10/2015
<mark>Journal</mark>Physiotherapy Theory and Practice
Issue number7
Volume31
Number of pages9
Pages (from-to)518-526
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date23/09/15
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

AbstractBackground: Freezing of gait (FOG) is a serious gait disorder affecting up to two-thirds of people with Parkinson?s disease (PD). Cueing has been explored as a method of generating motor execution using visual transverse lines on the floor. However, the impact of a laser light visual cue remains unclear. Objective: To determine the biomechanical effect of a laser cane on FOG in a participant with PD compared to a healthy age- and gender-matched control. Methods: The participant with PD and healthy control were given a task of initiating gait from standing. Electromyography (EMG) data were collected from the tibialis anterior (TA) and the medial gastrocnemius (GS) muscles using an 8-channel system. A 10-camera system (Qualisys) recorded movement in 6 degrees of freedom and a calibrated anatomical system technique was used to construct a full body model. Center of mass (COM) and center of pressure (COP) were the main outcome measures. Results: The uncued condition showed that separation of COM and COP took longer and was of smaller magnitude than the cued condition. EMG activity revealed prolonged activation of GS, with little to no TA activity. The cued condition showed earlier COM and COP separation. There was reduced fluctuation in GS, with abnormal, early bursts of TA activity. Step length improved in the cued condition compared to the uncued condition. Conclusion: Laserlight visual cueing improved step length beyond a non-cued condition for this patient indicating improved posture and muscle control.