Visual Exploration While Walking With and Without Visual Cues in Parkinson’s Disease: Freezer Versus 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

2 Citations (Scopus)
34 Downloads (Pure)


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 (ie, saccade frequency, duration, peak velocity, amplitude, and fixation duration) was measured via mobile eye-tracking and gait (ie, 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 < .01). Visual cues improved stride length, foot strike angle, and stride time in all groups ( P < .01). Visual cueing also increased saccade frequency, but reduced saccade peak velocity and amplitude in all groups ( P < .01). Gait improvement related to changes in visual exploration with visual cues in PD but not HC, with relationships dependent on group (FOG vs non-FOG) and task (single vs dual). 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
Article number15459683231201149
Pages (from-to)734-743
Number of pages10
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Issue number10
Early online date29 Sept 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2023

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