Visual exploration while walking with and without visual cues in Parkinson’s disease: Freezer vs non-Freezer

Lisa Graham, Jordan Armitage, Rodrigo Vitório, Julia Das, Gill Barry, Alan Godfrey, Claire McDonald, Richard Walker, Martina Mancini, Rosie Morris, Samuel Stuart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Visual cues can improve gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD), including those experiencing freezing of gait (FOG). However, responses are variable and underpinning mechanisms remain unclear. Visuo-cognitive processing (measured through visual exploration) has been implicated in cue response, but this has not been comprehensively examined.

OBJECTIVE: To examine visual exploration and gait with and without visual cues in PD who do and do not self-report FOG, and healthy controls (HC).

METHODS: 17 HC, 21 PD without FOG and 22 PD with FOG walked with and without visual cues, under single and dual-task conditions. Visual exploration (i.e., saccade frequency, duration, peak velocity, amplitude, and fixation duration) was measured via mobile eyetracking and gait (i.e., gait speed, stride length, foot strike angle, stride time, and stride time variability) with inertial sensors.

RESULTS: PD had impaired gait compared to HC, and dual-tasking made gait variables worse across groups (all p
CONCLUSION: Visual cues improved visual exploration and gait outcomes in HC and PD, with similar responses in freezers and non-freezers. Freezer and non-freezer specific associations between cue-related changes in visual exploration and gait indicate different underlying visuo-cognitive processing within these subgroups for cue response.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Aug 2023

Cite this