The use of Functional Electrical Stimulation, or FES in Parkinson’s Disease is a relatively new application of this technology, with a few research papers being recently published in this regard. It is generally understood that with cueing techniques, freezing and walking in general can be improved. This has typically taken the form of auditory sounds for cueing, or visual markers.
FESutilizes the sensory system for cueing, by delivering the impulse of electrical stimulation in a rhythmic manner during walking, timed to the walking cycle using a pressure sensitive foot switch. The other benefit of actively encouraging lifting of the foot (which is often weak or stiff) also contributes to the overall improvement in walking.