Creative ‘tricks’ to overcome walking difficulties in persons with Parkinson’s disease: towards individually tailored rehabilitation.

Thursday 14 December 2023, 12:30 pm
PhD student
A. Tosserams MSc.
prof. dr. B.R. Bloem, prof. dr. V.G.M. Weerdesteyn
dr. J.H. Nonnekes

Parkinson's disease is a brain disorder that is becoming increasingly common. Many people with parkinson's experience difficulty walking. They often invent creative tricks to still get ahead. For example: walking to the rhythm of music, counting, imitating someone else, or hopping. This dissertation shows that these tricks seem to make use of different 'routes' in the brain to improve walking, by bypassing the part of the brain affected by Parkinson's disease. This generally works very well, but the effect of specific tricks does vary greatly from person to person: what helps one person, may actually make walking more difficult for another. Therefore, individually tailored treatment is very important. The insights from this dissertation contribute to the development of  a more personalized rehabilitation approach, and improving patients' and caregivers' knowledge of the wide range of tricks available to support walking.      

Anouk Tosserams (1994) obtained her medical degree, cum laude, at the Radboud University in 2019. Afterwards, she started her PhD at the Radboud Center of Expertise for Parkinson and Movement Disorders. Currently she is working as a resident in Neurology at the Radboudumc. As a postdoctoral researcher, she remains involved in several projects on gait rehabilitation for people with Parkinson's disease.