This gait monitor is a six degree-of-freedom motion tracker that is placed on the ankle with a velcro strap. The device measures the length of every stride taken over a period of up to 24 hours, and can detect episodes of freezing of gait. One goal is to improve treatment of Parkinson’s disease by providing an objective measure of the locomotor response to medication administration (levodopa) and other interventions. Findings to date include (i) the increase in stride length after levodopa administration follows a smooth pattern in early stages, but becomes a sharper ‘step like’ transition from ‘off’ to ‘on’ as the disease progresses, (ii) the latency (delay) to an increase in stride length after levodopa administration is inversly proportional to age at onset (early onset -> increased latency), (iii) during freezing of gait (FOG) there is a high frequency ‘tremor’ of the leg (often undetected by the naked eye) that can be used to detect FOG.
Contact person for this study: Dr Hamish MacDougall