Improving Gait in Parkinson’s disease Patients with Smart Glasses

IMPROVING GAIT IN PARKINSON’S DISEASE PATIENTS WITH SMART GLASSES

Background

Due to neurodegeneration in the brain, Parkinson’s disease patients suffer gait disturbances such as small shufflling steps, freezing, and greater chances of falling. Studies have shown that the use of external sensory cues – for example, the rhythmic sound of a metronome or parallel stripes on the floor – can improve such symptoms. However, the skills taught in the clinic are difficult to generalize to uncued situations in every day life and thus permanent cueing devices are essential to follow-up and maintain their progress. Supported by the Fonds NutsOhra, we hope to develop a mobile app for smart glasses (i.e. Google Glass) to provide sensory cueing to Parkinson’s disease patients during daily living activities in an efficient and economical manner.

Assignment

We are seeking candidates to develop the software for audiovisual cueing in smart glasses and to integrate feedback (e.g. via accelerometers or camera) to automate the cueing protocol. Different (combinations of) cues will be tested in patients to achieve maximum improvement in gait. A strong background in computer programming, human-computer interfaces, psychophysics, or movement disorders is preferred.

Components

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Brief literature review on cueing in Parkinson’s disease

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Develop programs for different cueing strategies

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Perform human experiments

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Analyze and compare the results

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Prepare a final report and presentation

Educational program

MSc Electrical, Biomedical, Software Engineering, Computer Science, Human Media Interaction, Embedded Systems.

Research themes

From Human Sensory-Motor Function to Patient-Practitioner Interaction

Principal Investigator track

Richard van Wezel

Ciska Heida

Supervision and info

Yan Zhao