Listenmee® and Listenmee® smartphone application: Synchronizing walking to rhythmic auditory cues to improve gait in Parkinson's disease

William Omar Contreras Lopez, Carlos Andres Escalante Higuera, Erich Talamoni Fonoff, Carolina de Oliveira Souza, Ulrich Albicker, Jairo Alberto Espinoza Martinez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Evidence supports the use of rhythmic external auditory signals to improve gait in PD patients (Arias & Cudeiro, 2008; Kenyon & Thaut, 2000; McIntosh, Rice & Thaut, 1994; McIntosh et al., 1997; Morris, Iansek, & Matyas, 1994; Thaut, McIntosh, & Rice, 1997; Suteerawattananon, Morris, Etnyre, Jankovic, & Protas, 2004; Willems, Nieuwboer, Chavert, & Desloovere, 2006). However, few prototypes are available for daily use, and to our knowledge, none utilize a smartphone application allowing individualized sounds and cadence. Therefore, we analyzed the effects on gait of Listenmee®, an intelligent glasses system with a portable auditory device, and present its smartphone application, the Listenmee app®, offering over 100 different sounds and an adjustable metronome to individualize the cueing rate as well as its smartwatch with accelerometer to detect magnitude and direction of the proper acceleration, track calorie count, sleep patterns, steps count and daily distances. The present study included patients with idiopathic PD presented gait disturbances including freezing. Auditory rhythmic cues were delivered through Listenmee®. Performance was analyzed in a motion and gait analysis laboratory. The results revealed significant improvements in gait performance over three major dependent variables: walking speed in 38.1%, cadence in 28.1% and stride length in 44.5%. Our findings suggest that auditory cueing through Listenmee® may significantly enhance gait performance. Further studies are needed to elucidate the potential role and maximize the benefits of these portable devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-156
Number of pages10
JournalHuman Movement Science
Volume37
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Auditory cue
  • Gait
  • Idiopathic Parkinson's disease
  • Intelligent glasses system
  • Rhythmic auditory stimulation
  • Smartphone app
  • Smartwatch with accelerometer

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