James M. Flaherty Lecture on understanding walking patterns to better assess and treat neurological disease

December 2, 2016

Dr. John Barden of The University of Regina is currently on a James M. Flaherty Visiting Professorship in NUI Galway. The Canadian academic will deliver a Flaherty Lecture next Tuesday, 6 December, on understanding how humans walk and how it might inform treatment of diseases such as Parkinson’s. This public talk is entitled ‘Walking to the beat of a different drummer: using new technology to quantify patterns of locomotion for the assessment and treatment of disease’.

In his lecture Dr. Barden will review some of the basic neuromuscular and biomechanical mechanisms needed for humans to be able to walk. He will also describe how new sensor technologies can be used to record and analyse the rhythmic patterns produced by these mechanisms. This can be used for the assessment and treatment of pathological gait in aging and in various neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and Mild Cognitive Impairment.

The Visiting Professor’s area of expertise is in biomechanics and motor control. His current research interests include sensor-based analytics of cyclic movements in health and in sport. Examples of his research include gait variability in conditions such as knee osteoarthritis and stroke mechanics in competitive swimming.

Dr. Barden is currently collaborating with Professor Gearóid Ó Laighin and Dr. Leo Quinlan of NUI Galway’s College of Engineering and Informatics and Department of Physiology. “I’m very grateful to the Ireland Canada University Foundation, which through the Flaherty Visiting Professorship, has provided me with the opportunity to visit NUI Galway and collaborate with Professor Ó Laighin and Dr. Quinlan on mutually beneficial research related to gait variability and mobility impairments in Parkinson’s disease.

Members of the general public who have an interest in science, technology and health are welcome to attend the event which takes place next Tuesday, 6 December, at 6pm in NUI Galway, on the ground floor of the Engineering Building, room ENG-G017.