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Development of an auditory cueing system to assist gait in patients with Parkinson's disease

: Guimaraes, Vania; Castro, Rui; Correia de Barros, Ana; Cevada, João; Bayés, Àngels; García, Sheila; Mestre, Berta


Ortuño Guzmán, F.M.:
Bioinformatics and biomedical engineering. Third international conference, IWBBIO 2015. Pt.2 : Granada, Spain, April 15-17, 2015; Proceedings
Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2015 (Lecture Notes in Computer Science 9044)
ISBN: 978-3-319-16479-3 (Print)
ISBN: 978-3-319-16480-9 (Online)
International Work-Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (IWBBIO) <3, 2015, Granada>
Fraunhofer AICOS ()
Parkinson’s disease; motor symptom; auditory cueing; gait; rhythm; Smartphone; headset

Patients with Parkinsons Disease often experience motor symptoms that compromise their ability to walk independently and safely. One of the key problems is the inability to generate sufficient step length, which is typically compensated by an increase in stepping frequency. In this work, a system providing real-time auditory stimuli through a headset connected to a smartphone is developed and tested. Stimuli are provided when certain episodes are identified so as to modify speed and amplitude of movements. In this study, the feasibility of the system in stimulating gait using self-adaptive cueing rhythms is investigated and systems usefulness and acceptance are evaluated. Experimental results suggest that better gait patterns can be stimulated when individuals follow sounds whose rate is close to their natural step rate. Results also suggest that the system would be readily accepted by patients, provided that it can help them in real time during their daily activities.