Guest lecture Richard van Wezel: Visual cues to reduce freezing of gait in Parkinson's patients
Richard van Wezel, Professor of visual neuroscience and Vice dean of research, the Faculty of Science, Radboud Universitety will present his work on the use of smart glasses to reduce freezing of gait in Parkinson's patients.
Part of the people with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) experience freezing of gait (FOG): a disabling phenomenon in which sudden paroxysmal gait arrests prevent effective forward movement, described by patients ‘as if the feet are glued to the floor’.
External rhythmic cues like a metronome or transverse lines on the floor can facilitate gait initiation and continuation, and reduce the occurrence of FOG. However, current (especially visual) cueing strategies are difficult to apply in daily life, pointing out a need for portable visual cues.
Smart glasses carry the potential to offer personalised, portable cues and have been welcomed as an assistive technology to facilitate daily living by a majority of respondents. The results of studies with cues delivered through portable devices and smart glasses on FOG and gait will be presented.
About Wezel's lab
In the lab of Richard van Wezel we study how activity of groups of neurons results into behaviour. We investigate how visual perception and cognition can be explained in terms of electrical activity in networks of communicating neurons. Our goal is to study these processes from the level of single neurons to large scale brain networks. To cover all these different levels of neural processing we rely on neurophysiological methods like neural recordings, imaging and behavioural measurements. Findings are translated into clinical applications with a focus on Parkinson’s Disease and the application of smart glasses.