I was contacted last month by Walk With Path, a company that makes devices that attach to your shoes to alleviate Freezing of Gait (FoG). The device, Path Finder, provides visual cues with lasers attached to the front of your shoes. This gives the wearer a visual cue to step across, and acts as an external stimulus to trigger walking. Path Finder is available in the UK and in Europe, but not yet in the US.
A study conducted by Professor Bas Bloem and Dr. Murielle Ferraye at Radboud University in The Netherlands has been published, validating the concept of Path Finder for alleviating Freezing of Gait in Parkinson’s. In the article, using a visual cue projected from footwear, demonstrated a significant reduction in ‘freezing episodes’ and the time spent ‘frozen’.
I was asked to try Path Finder, but since I do not have a problem with freezing, I asked if two of the men in my boxing class who do have FoG could give it a try. Walk With Path sent a prototype for them to use for a few weeks. So far, Dan has tried using Path Finder with very good results. He wrote:
In the second, he turned on the lasers and his walk is more natural, and his arm swings have calmed down as well.
This is a prototype for testing Path Finder in the US. It is not available for purchase yet.
Dan will continue to work with Path Finder for another week before turning it over to Vince to try. More to come in a few weeks.