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Cueing in Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder with the seminal motor signs bradykinesia, tremor, rigidity, and – here most important – postural instability. Prevalence of PD in the elderly is about 1% in the industrialized countries, which for the Netherlands implies anywhere between 50,000 and 90,000 cases. Improving or at least maintaining motor function in this patient group is of great relevance as it can crucially improve the individual’s mobility and thereby their quality of life.

Project Parameters

Nov, 2010
Duration: 10 Years
Funding: Parkinson Fonds (in parts)
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Delayed visual feedback ...

We experimentally challenged postural stability in healthy subjects by providing artificial delayed (=incongruent) visual feedback. Low- and high-frequency components of postural sway exhibited differential susceptibility to artificial delays, thereby supporting the notion of postural control taking place on two (or more) distinct time scales.
Mobility-related difficulties in PD can be improved when the subjects are given external, rhythmic, movement-related auditory, somatosensory, or visual stimuli. Augmented visual feedback may increase the beneficial effects of cueing by adding kinematic performance to the visual scene. While this may potentially be a useful avenue for promoting motor behavior and learning, several studies have demonstrated that subjects with PD have an impaired ability to properly reweigh sensory information under changing circumstances.

Balance training

Incongruent visual feedback not only induces decreases in performance, but also that adaptation to incongruent visual feedback is different for patients with PD and healthy controls.
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Related Publications

Related PhD Projects

Augmented visual feedback in Parkinson’s disease – assessing and improving postural control

Maarten van den Heuvel & Andreas Daffertshofer, Gert Kwakkel, Peter Beek, Erwin van Wegen
Maarten analyzed behavioral consequences of augmented visual feedback (VF) on postural control. Subsequently he sought to transfer these findings to clinical application by testing whether VF-based balance training may have beneficial effects for patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Related Research Themes & Projects

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The Interactive Walkway

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