VCU School of Nursing researcher examines if a vibrating shoe can help people with Parkinson’s walk

Nearly 60 percent of people with Parkinson’s disease experience the sudden inability to walk, a phenomenon referred to as “freezing of gait.” It manifests in a complete stop or prolonged shuffle despite the individual’s best intentions to move forward and can be triggered midstride by a cluttered room, narrow spaces like a doorway or when making a turn. No medications or surgeries currently are available to treat it.

A team of five Virginia Commonwealth University researchers — led by Ingrid Pretzer-Aboff, Ph.D., senior nurse researcher in the School of Nursing, and Leslie Cloud, M.D., neurologist in the Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders Center — are testing a vibrating device worn inside the shoe that could put an end to the freeze. Read more. 

photo of vibrating device

VCU Health is testing a device called VibeForward developed by University of Delaware tech startup Resonate Forward. The device uses vibration therapy to reduce freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson’s disease (Photo courtesy of University of Delaware)

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