Repeatability of lower leg mechanics during gait in Parkinson’s disease


Aim of this work was to study the repeatability of kinematic and kinetic parameters of gait in Parkinson’s disease patients. Twelve patients with Parkinson’s disease performed 10 repeated gait trials at their natural speed on two different days. Lower limb kinematics were recorded by a Vicon optoelectronic system, with 6 cameras at a sampling frequency of 100Hz. Two Kistler force plates were placed in the middle of the walkway, to record the ground reaction forces with a sampling frequency of 1000Hz. The repeatability of the mechanical characteristics was estimated by the Coefficient of Multiple Correlation (CMC) for within-day and between-day measurements. The results showed high repeatability (CMC>.95) of the joint angle waveforms in all lower limb joints except pelvis (CMC>.77). The repeatability of joint moments was greater at the ankle joint (CMC>.98) and smaller at the hip joint (CMC >.90). In conclusion, most mechanical parameters of gait in patients with Parkinson’s disease show significant repeatability. However, during gait analysis of Parkinson’s disease patients, the minimum number of trials, which ensure very good reliability, should be performed, to avoid patients’ fatigue.

Gait characteristics of children with developmental coordination disorders: A case study


In this case study, two male children (ages 6 and 7) with and without developmental coordination disorder (DCD) walked across a GaitRITE pathway under four „walk‟ conditions (two single and two dual task conditions; simple and complex); gait variables studied included speed, cadence, step and stride length. Both groups exhibited consistent right-left symmetry in step and stride length across all „walks‟. Typical children adapted to walk conditions by holding stride length constant and varying step length; children with DCD linked stride-step length and modified them in parallel. In contrast to other studies, typical children were more variable in step-stride length than DCD children. Children with DCD linked modification of gait speed and cadence to single vs dual walk conditions; typically developing children modified speed and cadence with each change in “walk” condition. Overall children with DCD walked slower, took fewer steps with shorter strides and steps than typical children. Possible explanations for differences in gait characteristics and underlying motor system processes are discussed.

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