Freezing of gait is a troublesome and debilitating symptom of Parkinson's disease. Although the cause of freezing of gait remains unknown, recent research has highlighted a potential role of stress and anxiety. This presentation will discuss the evidence for a relationship between emotions and freezing of gait as well as how this might inform future research for new therapeutic interventions.
Kaylena Ehgoetz Martens
Dr. Ehgoetz Martens’ research combines movement kinematics, functional neuroimaging, psychophysiology and cognitive neuroscience to uncover the neural basis of gait and cognitive-emotional interactions in health and disease. Her work aims to (i) investigate the complex interactions between cognition, emotion, gait and balance; (ii) leverage the complexity of gait control to expose subclinical predictors of aging and neurodegeneration for translation to clinical practice, and (iii) combine gait with innovative technologies, such as virtual reality and mobile recording devices, to catalyze early diagnosis, prevent gait disturbances and falls, and preserve mobility throughout the lifespan. This information can lead to improved strategies to better assess and manage gait disturbances and falls in older adults and individuals at risk and/or suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.