Last updated on June 2019

Digital Wearable Walking Aid for Freezing of Gait in Parkinson s Disease


Brief description of study

The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of relatively long-term use of a wearable device that provides personalized and intelligent cues (e.g. only when FOG is detected) on FOG.

Detailed Study Description

The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of relatively long-term use of a wearable device that provides personalized and intelligent cues (e.g. only when FOG is detected) on FOG. It is hypothesized that the use of this device will reduce FOG in the home and in the community more than in a group of freezers who only receive basic gait information unrelated to FOG-episodes.

This study is a single- blinded bi-centric randomized controlled trial, consisting of 4 weeks of intervention, pre- and post- assessments and free-living monitoring. For this purpose, the DeFOG system was developed through a collaboration between our research group, the Sourasky Medical Center Tel Aviv and mHealth Technologies Bologna, Italy. The system consists of a smartphone, 2 foot-mounted inertial measurement units (IMU's) and earphones which enable transmitting feedback and auditory cues for gait, when FOG is about to occur. The patients will be randomized into an intervention group (DeFOG group) or a control group (N=31 per group). All patients will wear the DeFOG system (mHealth Technologies, mHT) and both groups will receive feedback about the daily number of steps produced. But, only the DeFOG group will receive cueing following detection of FOG. The cueing consists of a metronome, and if FOG persists, also a verbal instruction will be delivered. A therapist will personalize the settings of the DeFOG system and will support the patients in using the system (for instance in coping with false positives). Pre- and post- assessments will be performed by a blinded researcher, both before and after taking medication (in OFF and ON medication state, respectively), consisting of FOG-provoking tasks and questionnaires. During the post-assessment, the FOG provoking protocol will be repeated in both groups with and without the cueing option of the DeFOG system in the home situation.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03978507

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Recruitment Status: Open


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