Parkinson’s headband to prevent falls

Although backed by serious science, it's a simple headband that gives people time to stabilise themselves before they suffer an unexpected freeze in their walking, which is common in Parkinson's disease.

Most Parkinson's patients are older than 60, and broken bones are one of their biggest dangers.

They often end up in a nursing home because of a broken hip, says research leader Associate Professor Simon Lewis of the Brain and Mind Research Institute at the University of Sydney.

"Frozen gait destroys people's lives and independence.

"People are 10 times more likely to go into a nursing home with Parkinson's disease than with just ageing, and broken bones from freezing is a major cause of this."

More than 60,000 Australians have Parkinson's at any time, and almost all eventually suffer from freezing of gait.

"Patients suddenly feel as though their feet have become stuck to the ground," said Dr Lewis.