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Looking for feedback on Freezing of Gait remedies

My name is Nick Caiazzo, and I am a student at Lehigh University, located in Bethlehem, PA. A team of students and I are currently working with a man who has Parkinson's and suffers from freezing of gait. We are looking to create a device to help him during freezing of gait episodes. For those who suffer from freezing of gait, or help someone who suffers, what are the most helpful cues that you have found? Do you have a unique action that you take in order to help with these FoG episodes? Any information would be greatly appreciated, and would go a long way in helping bring to life an assistive device for Parkinson's sufferers. Thank you

  1. I try marching in place when I freeze up. This helps me unfreeze and move again. I. hope this is helpful. Regards, Marc M., Moderator,

    1. Thanks Marc!

  2. I have done a few things to help when I experience freezing. One is to step to the side or backwards then proceed. I will often sing or hum to keep a rhythm or pretend to splash in a mud puddle and take a large step forward. Most effective for me is to count how many steps I need to take to get to a location I frequent often and not think about why I am going just focusing on the counts especially when having to cross a threshold or turn a corner. Good luck with your research and please share any findings with us .
    Thea DeStephano Community Team Member

    1. Thank you for your insight! The man we are working with actually uses a tape measure to help with freezing. He unrolls the tape measure, and presses it against the floor (in a standing position) until the tape measure kinks in front of him and folds over itself. The visual of the tape measure folding helps him keep moving. We will continue our extensive research and be sure to share any breakthroughs!

  3. I have PD for over 10 years. Levocarb and rasaciline keep tremors under control, and I am still able to play tennis. However, freezing of gait has started to appear in the last months, and one episode several days ago was bad enough to put a serious brake on my navigating my wheeled shopping cart in a crowded grocery. Now, my experience tells me, contrary to accepted knowledge, that my meds help with freezing. However, appropriate absorbtion of meds can by messed up by protein-based foods, even if they are eaten not too close to the times of the meds doses. So I decided to do some research by myself, by totally AVOIDING PROTEINS for 3 days. Well, after 3.5 days of only grapes and pitta bread, I am MUCH BETTER, I have had only minor FREEZING EPISODES. Now, I know I need some proteins, but will try to find a diet in which they are much less present. Perhaps you will try to experiment with this, but be careful and talk to your doctor, as I am going for Nobel here:-] and it might be a little risky. Other solutions: buy an mp3 device and listen to rhythmical music while walking. Train to maintain your cognitive abilities and perform simple multitasking jobs, as this is the faculty that is affected and leads to freezing. Vigorous exercises in place (eg knee flexions + arm rows on a TRX) before going on a walk definitely help. So warm up, then walk. Best.

    1. Also, I found that most of the tennis footwork exercises are helpful against freezing, even if done at a more moderate pace. For stability, a lower and wider stance is recommended. Same for footwork exercises for other sports, say soccer or basketball - they are very useful. You can find plenty at Youtube.

      1. Thank you very much for this information! These are some interesting points that we have not thought of yet.

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