Tremor and Other Hyperkinetic Movements

Virtual Reality Feedback Cues for Improvement of Gait in Patients with Parkinson's Disease

Samih Badarny, Judith Aharon-Peretz, Zvi Susel, George Habib, Yoram Baram


Background: Our aim was to study the effects of visual feedback cues, responding dynamically to patient's self‐motion and provided through a portable see‐through virtual reality apparatus, on the walking abilities of patients with Parkinson's disease.

Methods: Twenty patients participated. On‐line and residual effects on walking speed and stride length were measured. Results Attaching the visual feedback device to the patient with the display turned off showed a negligible effect of about 2%. With the display turned on, 56% of the patients improved either their walking speed, or their stride length, or both, by over 20%. After device removal, and waiting for 15 minutes, the patients were instructed to walk again: 68% of the patients showed over 20% improvement in either walking speed or stride length or both. One week after participating in the first test, 36% of the patients showed over 20% improvement in baseline performance with respect to the previous test. Some of the patients reported that they still walked on the tiles in their minds.

Discussion: Improvements in walking abilities were measured in patients with Parkinson's disease using virtual reality visual feedback cues. Residual effects suggest the examination of this approach in a comprehensive therapy program.


This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 4.0 International License.

The opinions expressed within this journal do not necessarily reflect those of Tremor, its staff, its advisory Boards, or affiliates, or those of Columbia University.