James M. Shine1, Philip Ward2, Elie Matar1, Sharon Naismith1, Simon Lewis1
1Brain and Mind Research Institute, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia; 2School of Psychiatry, The University of New South Wales
Freezing of gait (FOG) is a devastating symptom of advanced Parkinsons disease in which patients suddenly feel as though their feet have become stuck to the ground. Despite a well-characterised clinical phenotype, the condition remains poorly understood. To remedy this, we have combined fMRI with a novel virtual reality walking paradigm, allowing the safe recreation of freezing of gait episodes and the subsequent exploration of the neural correlates of these episodes. In a cohort of 16 patients, we found robust patterns of activation that were consistent with the predictions of a recently-proposed model.