Freezing of gait, an absence of forward progression of the feet despite the intention to walk, is a debilitating symptom of Parkinson's disease. Laser guide shoes developed at the University of Twente (Enschede, Netherlands) and Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre (Nijmegen, Netherlands) that project a line on the floor to the rhythm of the footsteps help trigger the Parkinson's patient to walk.1 The shoes benefit the wearer significantly, according to the researchers.
Walking problems are common and very disabling in Parkinson’s disease. In particular, freezing of gait is a severe symptom which generally develops in more advanced stages. It can last seconds to minutes and is generally triggered by the stress of an unfamiliar environment or when medication wears off. Because the foot remains glued to the floor but the upper body continues moving forward, it can cause the person to lose her balance and fall.