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On Reducing Gait Freezing in Parkinson's Patients

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Abstract

I am exploring ways to reduce gait freezing during walking in Parkinson's patients
On Gait Freezing in Parkinson’s patients
Trizah Wanja
On Reducing gait freezing in Parkinson’s patients
What is gait freezing?
Figure 1 showing an old man with Parkinson's disease
Gait freezing is the periodic moments when a Parkinson’s patient is walking and
pauses though they really want to move on. It occurs mostly when a PD patient
comes to a new pattern or $oor design that they were not used to and for a
moment they freeze before they can go on in the uncharted grounds.
What causes gait freezing?
--Change in the $oor pattern or design where the patient was walking.
--Obstruction by obstacles where the patient is unaware of what to do or how to
progress
--Facing narrow pathways or places where they are supposed to negotiate
corners.
How does it a*ect a patient?
Gait freezing slows down a patient movement. It also makes it impossible to walk
for long distances. The patient since they are aware of this would not feel
comfortable walking in a crowd of people since they are going to attract lots of
undue attention.
Going to uncommon grounds becomes something that makes the patient very
anxious.
On Gait Freezing in Parkinson’s patients
Trizah Wanja
How to reduce gait freezing?
There are a few strategies that we have tried over at hosiped and found them to
be of great help. Let us investigate them:
Rhythmic music
Rhythmic music has been found to be of great help in reducing gait freezing.
Parkinson’s patients could therefore carry pagers or phones that prompt them to
take steps in resonance to the rhythms in the pager or music audio.
Indication on where next to step
Having some obstacles to periodically win as you walk can help with reducing
gait freezing. A PD patient could have laser lights that indicate where they ought
to step next.
This has been used in the development of recent, high-end walkers such as the
ustep that comes with laser attachments.
Use of wheeled walkers
Though walkers have not been proved to help in any way with gait freezing, they
are still good adaptive tools for your PD patient. The wheeled walker version was
found to be the best. Canes and the standard walkers were found to slow down
the patients walking.
Final words on reducing gait freezing in Parkinson’s patients
Though gait freezing will not be stopped by using laser lights, wheeled walkers
and rhythmic music, these strategies do help. Having a caregiver at hand is also
of immense importance so that they can always o*er moral support to the PD
patient.
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