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What is Freezing of Gait?

Freezing of gait is a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease that affects 50 to 80 percent of people with Parkinson’s (Perez-Lloret 2014). It is an episodic symptom, meaning that, suddenly, the patient can no longer move forward, despite wanting to do so. For the person, this can feel as if the feet are stuck to the floor. Freezing of gait typically lasts just a couple of seconds and can be triggered by environmental features such as a doorway or a change in flooring. Turning, initiating walking, or maneuvering around obstacles can cause freezing, while any stress or anxiety can worsen the symptoms. This could happen, for example, when someone is being rushed.

The freezing episodes are also a significant contributor to the risk of falls for people affected by Parkinson’s disease. Seventy percent of patients experience a fall annually, leading to significant injuries and loss of mobility all together (Wood 2002). During an episode, the feet suddenly stop in place or make short quick steps, but the trunk continues moving forward. This causes an imbalance which can lead to a fall.

The symptoms are difficult to treat as they do not necessarily respond well to the standard treatment options of medication (Levodopa) and deep brain stimulation. Nearly 50 percent of Parkinson’s Disease patients experience freezing of gait during their “on-medication” periods when other symptoms are well managed by Levodopa (Perez-Lloret 2014). The unmet need that remains after medication and deep brain stimulation for freezing of gait treatment can be addressed with Gondola AMPS therapy.

The Gondola Medical Device allows patients to receive non-invasive AMPS therapy that significantly reduces the freezing of gait. Documented benefits demonstrate significant improvements in walking abilities, including speed, stride length, gait variability, and turning.

Reference

Perez-Lloret S, Negre-Pages L, Damier P, et al. Prevalence, Determinants, and Effect on Quality of Life of Freezing of Gait in Parkinson Disease. JAMA Neurol. 2014;71(7):884–890. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2014.753

Wood BH, Bilclough JA, Bowron A, Walker RW. Incidence and prediction of falls in Parkinson’s disease: a prospective multidisciplinary study. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2002 Jun;72(6):721-5. doi: 10.1136/jnnp.72.6.721. PMID: 12023412; PMCID: PMC1737913.