Parkinson's Movement

Gait Speed

My brother has been diagnosed with PD for three years now and his walking speed has deteriorated slowly and now drags his left foot. Recently he has started with bursts of faster walking which causes him to fall if he is not able to grab hold of a support. His consultant does not know of the condition and does not want to alter his medication. Does anybody have this problem and have they managed to alleviate it.

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Festination and other gait problems are well known with Parkinson’s. If your brother’ consultant doesn’t know that might be better with a new consultant.

Where are you in the world? Do you go with your brother to the consultations?

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Thanks for reply. We live in UK and I don’t live very near to my brother although I did attend his last session with the consultant. He didn’t recognise the condition and he didn’t want to alter medication because it might be a retrograde step with his other conditions. My brother lives in a smallish town so finding another consultant would involve a long journey. I will do some more research on the condition as I am new to this forum.

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Your first sentence fits my condition. The speeding up part I don't know about - is that intentional on his part to overcome the slowness?

My solution is to focus on keeping the left foot toes up when stepping, and practice daily. It has gotten easier lately.

Supplements to help the brain build new circuits probably help. NAC and Co-Q10.

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Hello park-bear, the increased speed of gait just happens and he cannot control it. He doesn’t stop until he either falls or grabs hold of something. He normally walks with a shuffling gait. He lives on his own but does have a personal alarm which he uses when he falls. Trying to convince him to use a walking device with brakes but then it is difficult if he wants to carry a hot drink.

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Derek,

I have heard of this before and I’ve seen it happen backwards, Retropulsion. There is a small amount on this link.

what-when-how.com/parkinson...’s-disease/

Your GP could get the community OT and physios involved and they would provide suitable walking aides for him to try.

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I agree. He needs a OT or physio who specializes in PD. If you are struggling to get one through statutory services in might be worth paying for a short burst of private therapy. Use of strategies and certain aids could make the world of differito his walking and reduce his falls.

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Thanks for replyHikoi. His daughter lived nearby so she helped him with his daily tasks but sadly she recently passed away so I have got more involved although I live an hours journey away. Thanks for the link, it gives me the opportunity to learn more about the condition.

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Thankyou OTEB, since he has stopped driving he has also stopped his gym classes. I do not live near enough to help on a regular basis but we are trying to get him some help with voluntary taxis to take him.

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I have had the foot dragging problem for years, and once I experienced the speeding up uncontrollably until falling problem. It was quite scary. My doc, who is PD specialist, adjusted meds, suggested I do even more exercise (which I had been doing daily for 30 years) and sent me to physical therapist for stretches which I do for about 30 minutes a day. It all helped.

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Thank you for that advice. I have just spoken to my brother and he is now starting gym work again with a specialist Parkinson’s class. It will give him the opportunity to discuss problems with fellow sufferers. A bit like this forum which I have just discussed with him. Going to get him an email address so that he can join in.

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To help you care for your brother, look on line at 'NHS choices' and navigate through list of conditions to Parkinsons Disease for overview of treatments available. Also contains the NICE national guidelines for PD, and you can use your brother's postcode to find any local support groups. You wil also find Parkinson'sUK.

Your brother needs a Neuro Consultant who specialises in movement disorders. Preferably in his own health area as this makes for easier links with PD Nurse, Neuro Physio and Neuro OT etc. If there is a choice of hospital, check their websites or GP's local knowledge.

Visit Youtube and look at 'PD Warrior' - a Neuro physio programme from Australia with a few bases in UK (mainly private but some NHS).

Also on YouTube see 'Beats Medical' - audio walking aid.

Incidentally, re walking I was advised to stand well down on the heels before moving forward, and then to lead heel down at every step. Takes practise - with music preferably - but worth the effort.

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Thank you for that info. Unfortunately my brother doesn’t have close support, I am 40 miles away, but I am trying to learn as much as possible about the condition and treatments so your suggestions are very helpful. He is starting gym work today with a dedicated Parkinson’s group so hopefully he will be able to talk with like minded patients. Again the problem is transport but trying to call in anybody who can help plus taxis. Hopefully he can maintain his independence and still live in his home.

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Your brother has to learn how to consciously control his movements. Look at my profile and see how I have overcome most of my Pd problems.

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Hello John and thank you for your reply. I have just ordered your book so we will see how he responds.

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Thanks for your book order. It will be posted to you today.

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