To deal with freezing in Parkinson’s calls for extensive care along with other symptoms that need attention too. Now that there have been many technological advancements in the recent times, one can possibly count on the latest addition i.e. laser shoes to combat the gait issue so that a Parkinson’s patient can walk with balance. Not being able to move is common among Parkinson’s patients as they experience freezing episodes for a longer or shorter duration; they try their best to do so though. This little piece of information could up the excitement and they may look forward to going with this smart move.
An effort made by the University of Twente’s Murielle Ferraye in the field of Parkinson’s research can be a booster for Parkinson’s patients. A study undertaken by the university had 21 Parkinson’s patients (off and on medication) who were tested using the laser projection device. The device was mounted to the toe producing a line of 18 inches ahead of the step. This was termed as the line till where the user can step and walk forward. And when the shoe is in motion, the laser gets turned off, in order to ensure that it rests foot till the projection line only.
The finding was interesting as it was found that the laser shoes reduced falling and gait freezing nearly by half and cut the duration of freezes by more than half, giving Parkinson’s patients a reason to cheer. Many patients were hopeful to use the shoes even after considering that the line was projected even when the patients were not frozen. Furthermore, Ferraye aims to activate the laser only when a freeze is detected.
Modern research like this can foresee the demand that these laser shoes can produce, provided that it is well accepted by the patients to help reduce gait freezing. That said, it is not to be forgotten that the combination of physical therapy, medication and technology can lead to positive results in the field of Parkinson’s management. Since each patient experiences different Parkinson’s symptoms, it must be considered that the treatment methods may vary and should be advised only what’s best suited to a specific condition.
This Blog is contributed by Dr. Deepak Kr. Nain. He is a certified therapist who specializes in the field of rehabilitation. Deepak possesses a clinical expertise in prescribing the best solutions to help people with neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).