Functional Gait Disorder
Gait, or the process of walking, relies on several systems working together. Hence, disorders can be a result of various problems, e.g. skeletal, muscle, or nerves. Functional gait disorder is when there is an abnormal gait due to neurological problems, not including neurodegenerative diseases. These disorders often have an abrupt onset and fluctuate in severity.
We are currently collaborating with neurologists at St. George’s Hospital in London to look at Path Finder’s effect in those with functional gait disorder. Initial studies have shown visual cueing to increase balance and walking ability as seen in the video below.
Physiotherapy is used to treat people with functional gait disorder. However, there is limited data on the outcomes of this method, as the disorder is relatively rare. Physiotherapy focuses on retraining movement patterns and demonstrating that movement can occur. It is sometimes used alongside psychological treatment. Approximately 50-70% of people with functional gait disorder will improve with the use of physiotherapy, however, differences in factors such as treatment time and intensity are not well documented in the literature (Nielsen et al., 2014).
Using visual cueing for functional gait disorder is a new concept. We are excited to continue working with the team of movement disorder experts at St. George’s to gather more evidence.