Freezing of Gait

FREEZING OF GAIT

Freezing of gait affects around 40% of people with Parkinson’s disease, and can make it difficult to undertake daily activities, to move around their home, or to walk confidently.

It is a movement disorder unique to Parkinson’s disease, characterised by the inability to step forward and the necessity to take very short steps. In laymen’s terms, it could be described feeling stuck, leaving a person unable to move forward.

Triggered when the brain of a person with Parkinson’s disease becomes overloaded with stimuli, freezing of gait frequently occurs in confined spaces such as doorways and around

furniture or other obstacles and typically happens while turning or starting to walk. It is often preceded by festination, which is an involuntary quickening of steps and shuffling.

Freezing of gait can often lead to imbalance and falls.But it has more than a physical impact. The stress and anxiety of experiencing (or worrying about experiencing) a freeze, particularly in a public place, can lead to a loss of confidence, self-esteem and independence, and increased isolation.

Many years of research has proven that by using a visual cue, such as a cane or a walker, can overcome freezing.

However Agilitas is the world’s first automatic and discrete advice that can intelligently detect when you are about to freeze. It does this by using a unique algorithm that detects “festination” which is the shuffle that occurs momementarily before a person freezes. Agilitas then automatically shines a laser dot onto the ground for users to step over or through.