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Informational and cognitive overload: mechanisms triggering freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson's Disease

Grant number: 16/06292-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2016
Effective date (End): June 30, 2018
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal Investigator:José Angelo Barela
Grantee:Giovanna Gracioli Genoves
Home Institution: Pró-Reitoria de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa. Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul (UNICSUL). São Paulo , SP, Brazil


Patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) may experience episodes of freezing of gait (FOG). Studies suggest that an increased attention demand concurrent to the execution of a motor task and/or a decline of proprioceptive information, from the lower limbs, together with an overload of visual information may trigger these episodes. However, several issues still need to be further examined to understand this behavior in patients with PD. This study will examine the use of visual information in PD patients that present and do not present episodes of FOG in different conditions of stimulus structure and cognitive engagement. Forty patients with PD will participate in this study, twenty diagnosed by the Association Brazil Parkinson as freezers and twenty as non-freezers. Participants will stand upright as still as possible inside a moving room. At first, the room will be oscillated in a periodic condition and then participants will perform a countdown with an regression interval of 3 values (100, 97, ..), periodic-dual task condition, Afterwards, detection of passive motion from the lower limbs will be examined with participants seated in a specially designed chair, used to evaluate the angular displacement of the ankle. Finally, the participants will return to the standing position inside the moving room and performer two other experimental conditions: complex periodic condition and non-periodic complex condition. Comparisons between groups will be performed in the respective tests. (AU)

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