Reduction of Freezing of Gait in Parkinson’s Disease by Repetitive Robot-Assisted Treadmill Training: A Pilot StudyBy Lo, Albert C.; Chang, Victoria C.; Gianfrancesco, Milena A.; Friedman, Joseph H.; Patterson, Tara S.; Benedicto, Douglas F.; Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, Vol. 7, No. 51
Publication Date: October 2010
Study examined the effect of continuous physical cueing using robot assisted sensorimotor gait training on reducing freezing of gait (FOG) episodes and improving gait in patients with Parkinson’s disease. FOG is defined as an episodic inability to generate effective stepping, reportedly one of the most disabling and distressing parkinsonian symptoms. Participants, 3 men and 1 woman aged 44 to 85 years with Parkinson’s disease and FOG symptoms, received ten 10-minute sessions of robot assisted gait training with the Lokomat, an exoskeleton whose hip and knee components are driven by linear back-drivable actuators that repetitively facilitate bilateral symmetrical gait patterns. The Lokomat unit is secured to the lower extremity and pelvis with adjustable pads, cuffs, and Velcro straps, and the system uses a dynamic body weight support system to support the patient above a motorized treadmill synchronized with the Lokomat. Study outcomes included the FOG-Questionnaire, a clinician rated video FOG score, spatiotemporal measures of gait, and the Parkinson’s Disease Questionnaire-39 quality of life measure. All participants showed a reduction in FOG both by self report and clinician rated scoring upon completion of training. Improvements were also observed in gait velocity, stride length, rhythmicity, and coordination. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Published by: BioMed Central Ltd (Website:http://www.biomedcentral.com)
Link to text: http://www.jneuroengrehab.com/content/7/1/51