Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder that affects 1 million Americans and 10 million individuals worldwide. One of the most debilitating and impactful symptoms of PD is Freezing of Gait (FOG). FOG decreases quality of life and activity level, and leads to loss of independence and injurious falls. External prompts, such as auditory, visual, or tactile cues, have been shown to help, but outcomes are mixed due to the individualized nature of FOG—different cues are more or less effective depending on the individual and their present circumstances.
Barron Associates is developing an intelligent FOG cueing system that can unobtrusively and automatically detect FOG onset and facilitate ambulation using a wide range of available cues that have been personalized for the individual user. The system recently completed a feasibility study that demonstrated over 95% sensitivity and 90% specificity in detecting multiple types of FOG experienced by patients with PD.