Parkinson’s Dog and Freezing of Gait

Freezing of gait is a disabling symptom which occurs in patients with parkinsonism where they feel as though their feet are momentarily glued to the floor. This can lead to falls, hospitalization and even mortality. Currently at the Dublin Neurological Institute, we are gearing up to launch a series of studies aiming to understand and manage freezing of gait amongst people with Parkinson’s Disease. These projects, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin, and a variety of tech companies, aim to study freezing of gait and develop ways to help patients manage this symptom using different and unique therapies and novel technologies.

An excellent example of research on freezing of gait at the DNI is with Duncan Rogers.

A father-of-two who has Parkinson’s disease says his life has been transformed by a dog trained to help him with mobility and stability. Duncan Hughes, from Dublin, was partnered with Leon, a black Labrador, to help manage his gait stability, freezing of gait and improve his quality of life overall. Till this day Duncan attests to the many benefits that Leon has brought to his life.

If you or anyone you know would be interested in participating in studies involving freezing of gait or gait stability in people with Parkinson’s you can contact our Clinical Research Nurse and Coordinator at [email protected] or call at 01 803 2645.