Pakinson's patients needing rehabilitation may benefit from walking to the beat of a different drum, suggests a study. The findings demonstrate that researchers should further investigate the potential of auditory, visual, and tactile cues in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from illnesses like Parkinson's Disease-a brain disorder leading to shaking (tremors) and difficulty walking. Together with a team of collaborators from abroad, Ervin Sejdic, an assistant professor of engineering in Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, studied the effects of various metronomic stimuli (a mechanically produced beat) on fifteen healthy adults, ages 18 to 30. Walkers participated in two sessions consisting of five 15-minute trials in which the participants walked with different cues. In the first, participants walked at their preferred walking speed. Then, in subsequent trials, participants were asked to walk to a metronomic beat, produced by way of visuals, sound, or touch. Finally, participants were asked to walk with all three cues simultaneously, the pace of which was set to that of the first trial. "We found that the auditory cue had the greatest influence on human gait, while the visual cues had no significant effect whatsoever. This finding could be particularly helpful for patients with Parkinson's Disease, for example, as auditory cues work very well in their rehabilitation," said Sejdic. Sejdic said that with illnesses like Parkinson's Disease, a big question is whether researchers can better understand the changes that come with this deterioration. Through their study, the Pitt team feels that visual cues could be considered as an alternative modality in rehabilitation and should be further explored in the laboratory. "Oftentimes, a patient with Parkinson's disease comes in for an exam, completes a gait assessment in the laboratory, and everything is great," said Sejdic. "But then, the person leaves and falls down. Why? Because a laboratory is a strictly controlled environment. It's flat, has few obstacles, and there aren't any cues (like sound) around us. When we're walking around our neighborhoods, however, there are sidewalks, as well as streetlights and people honking car horns: you have to process all of this information together. We are trying to create that real-life space in the laboratory," the researcher said. In the future, Sejdic and his team would like to conduct similar walking trials with patients with Parkinson's disease to observe whether their gait is more or less stable. Additionally, his team plans to explore the impact of music on runners and walkers. The findings were published in the August issue of PLOS One.Source: ANI << Men With Stressful Jobs Suffer From Menopause-like Symptoms Italian Fruit Bergamot Improves "Good" Cholesterol >> Recommended Reading Parkinsons Disease Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative disease caused by progressive dopamine brain cells loss. Symptoms of Parkinson's disease are correctable to an extent. READ MORE Parkinson's Disease - Surgical Treatment - Animation Slide animation on surgery for Parkinson disease. Surgery is only indicated where drugs fail to control the symptoms of this progressive movement disorder. Surgery cannot cure the disease. READ MORE Newer Possible Treatment Approaches for Parkinson’s Disease Researchers at Sweden's Lund University carried out a study on rats to reveal how Parkinson's disease spreads throughout the brain. READ MORE Make Treatment of Parkinsons More Affordable, Doctors Plead The Parkinson's disease occurs when certain nerve cells in the brain, called the substantia nigra, die or become impaired. READ MORE Body Types and Befitting Workouts Workout and diet which is well suited for a pear shaped body. READ MORE Nutritional Management of Parkinsons disease Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder which leads to many other related effects. Nutrition plays an important role in management of the disease. READ MORE Walking As An Exercise People walk for many reasons ranging from pleasure to mental relaxation, finding solitude or for exercise. READ MORE Walking for Fitness and Weight Loss A few extra steps a day are enough to keep you fit. READ MORE Who Else Wants to Know How Walking Helps Heart and Brain? Walking early morning would improve your health as it helps heart and brain to function properly. Find more about its benefits for your body. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Vent Forte (Theophylline) Selfie Addiction Calculator Drug Side Effects Calculator More News on: Body Types and Befitting WorkoutsWalking for Fitness and Weight LossWalking As An ExerciseNutritional Management of Parkinsons diseaseWho Else Wants to Know How Walking Helps Heart and Brain?