'Smart glasses' can improve gait of Parkinson's patients

October 16, 2013

A new app for intelligent glasses, such as Google Glass, will soon make it possible to improve the gait of patients suffering from Parkinson's disease and to decrease their risk of falling. Researchers at the University of Twente's MIRA Institute have received a grant from the NutsOhra fund for the development of the app.

The gait of Parkinson's is often disturbed: sometimes this presents as a shuffling movement with the patient taking , or it may result in the patient constantly looking for additional support. Gait disturbance also increases the chance of a fall, despite the progress made in terms of medication. Researchers have established that the of patients improves when they regularly see or hear a pattern. Examples might include stripes on the floor, or the regular ticking of a metronome.

The researchers, working under the leadership of Prof. Richard van Wezel, who is professor of Neurophysiology at the UT and is also attached to the Donders Institute in Nijmegen, are now looking at exploring the possibility of using the intelligent glasses, such as Google Glass, that are now coming on to the consumer market.

Intelligent glasses would be able to provide patients with the regular visual or audible patterns required. These patterns may take the form of moving stripes or shapes which the patient sees through the glasses, flashing shapes, or music with varying tempos. The latest intelligent glasses already have inbuilt cameras and accelerometers. By using these, it will be possible to determine which approach works best for each individual patient.

Explore further: Clinicians should pay attention to stroke patients who cannot walk at 3-6 month after onset

Related Stories

Clinicians should pay attention to stroke patients who cannot walk at 3-6 month after onset

July 11, 2013
Gait dysfunction is one of the most serious disabling sequelae of stroke. Regaining gait ability in stroke is a primary goal of neurorehabilitation. Furthermore, gait is a less demanding motor function than hand function.

Google to sell Internet glasses to contest winners (Update 2)

February 20, 2013
Google is giving more people a chance to pay $1,500 for a pair of the Internet-connected glasses that the company is touting as the next breakthrough in mobile computing.

Tokyo Tech researchers develop the WalkMate System for improving the quality of life of Parkinson's disease patients

August 28, 2012
Tokyo Tech's Yoshihiro Miyake and colleagues have developed an innovative, non-invasive therapeutic intervention that may improve the mobility, stability, and quality of life of Parkinson's disease patients.

Google picks 8,000 to test net-connected glasses (Update)

March 26, 2013
Google has picked 8,000 people in the U.S. who will have a chance to wear the company's new Internet-connected glasses, which are being described as the next breakthrough in mobile computing.

Recommended for you

Parkinson's is partly an autoimmune disease, study finds

June 21, 2017
Researchers have found the first direct evidence that autoimmunity—in which the immune system attacks the body's own tissues—plays a role in Parkinson's disease, the neurodegenerative movement disorder. The findings raise ...

Predicting cognitive deficits in people with Parkinson's disease

June 20, 2017
Parkinson's disease (PD) is commonly thought of as a movement disorder, but after years of living with PD approximately twenty five percent of patients also experience deficits in cognition that impair function. A newly developed ...

Pre-clinical study suggests Parkinson's could start in gut endocrine cells

June 15, 2017
Recent research on Parkinson's disease has focused on the gut-brain connection, examining patients' gut bacteria, and even how severing the vagus nerve connecting the stomach and brain might protect some people from the debilitating ...

Hi-res view of protein complex shows how it breaks up protein tangles

June 15, 2017
Misfolded proteins are the culprits behind amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and other neurodegenerative brain disorders. These distorted proteins are unable to perform their normal ...

CRISPR tech leads to new screening tool for Parkinson's disease

June 5, 2017
A team of researchers at the University of Central Florida is using breakthrough gene-editing technology to develop a new screening tool for Parkinson's disease, a debilitating degenerative disorder of the nervous system. ...

Infection with seasonal flu may increase risk of developing Parkinson's disease

May 30, 2017
Most cases of Parkinson's have no known cause, and researchers continue to debate and study possible factors that may contribute to the disease. Research reported in the journal npj Parkinson's Disease suggests that a certain ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.