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Strategies of segmental stabilization during gait in Parkinson's disease

Abstract : This study compared the postural strategies adopted by patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD; n=16) during locomotion to those of elderly controls (n=16). We focused mainly on the head and trunk stabilization modes in sagittal and frontal planes. Subjects were asked to walk at their natural speed on an uniformly gray, flat ground. Gait data were recorded before and 1 h after l-dopa intake and were analyzed by an automatic motion analyser (Elite system). The modes of segmental stabilization adopted by each group were determined by means of the anchoring index, associated with cross-correlation functions between angular movements of pairs of segments. The major findings were: (a) PD patients generally had shorter step length, greater step width, and slower gait velocity than the healthy elderly. (b) No difference in angular dispersion of any anatomical segment studied was observed between the two groups. (c) PD patients had adopted a strategy of head stabilization on the shoulder (”en bloc” functioning of the head-shoulder unit) about the roll axis only. (d) PD patients displayed head and shoulder angular movements around the roll axis that were more correlated than those of controls, confirming their more en bloc functioning. (e) Shoulder and hip were equally stabilized in space in the two groups around the roll axis. (f) There was no difference between the two groups about the pitch axis where an en bloc functioning of the whole trunk was shown. These results are discussed with respect to the similarities observed between the visuo-locomotor PD performances and those of children.
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Serge Mesure, Jean-Philippe Azulay, Jean Pouget, B. Amblard. Strategies of segmental stabilization during gait in Parkinson's disease. Experimental Brain Research, Springer Verlag, 1999, 129 (4), pp.573-581. ⟨10.1007/s002210050927⟩. ⟨hal-01644859⟩



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