About 10-20 percent of Parkinson's patients in Germany suffer from the so-called "freezing of gait", in which their fluid gait freezes. This often leads to falls for those affected. In the current research project "Fast Gait" of the Lurija Institute, an aid is being developed to counteract freezing. The project is led by Prof. Dr. Michael Jöbges, Medical Director of the Kliniken Schmieder Konstanz.
By using sensors in the shoe or on the chest, the gait pattern and other movements of the patients are recorded. In only 50 milliseconds, these sensors recognise an emerging freezing, which corresponds to about a quarter of the average human reaction time. Vibration impulses are then used to bring the patient out of freezing again. With the help of a prototype, the first test persons are currently being examined in physiotherapy. For the Kliniken Schmieder, the suitability for everyday use is of particular importance, because it should be as easy as possible for the patients to use the technical aid.