One of the main factors in Parkinson's disease is altered gait. Altered gait includes: shuffling gait, slower gait, balance issues and freezing of gait. Freezing of gait prevents an individual from progressing forward and could lead to balance issues, frequent falling and tripping. The freezing occurs usually when the individual is triggered by a stressful event or if their medication is beginning to wear off. A new study has shown the benefits of laser shoes on preventing freezing of gait for individuals with Parkinson's disease.
Laser shoes, invented by the University of Twente's Murielle Ferraye, are shoes that come equipped with lasers which project a line 18 inches ahead of the patient's feet which produces a line which the individual can step towards. The laser is only activated when the individual is walking and helps prevent tripping and falling which is experiencing by many of those with Parkinson's.
The study included 21 participants with Parkinson's in which the individuals noted that they had fewer moments where they froze and they had less gait incidents (tripping, falling). Most of the patients said they would continue to use these shoes as they helped improve their gait. In the future, Ferraye hopes to make the shoes more specific to only showing lasers when a freeze is going to occur.
Brought to you by Doctor John A. Hardy, owner of Toronto's foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.