Get access

Footstep adjustments used to turn during walking in Parkinson's disease

Authors

  • Frances Huxham,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Gait Analysis and Gait Rehabilitation, Victoria, Australia
    2. Geriatric Research Unit, Kingston Centre Southern Health, Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia
    3. School of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    4. Monash Institute of Health Services Research, Monash University, Victoria, Australia
    • Geriatric Research Unit, Kingston Centre Southern Health, Warrigal Rd, Cheltenham Victoria 3192, Australia

    Search for more papers by this author
  • Richard Baker,

    1. Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Gait Analysis and Gait Rehabilitation, Victoria, Australia
    2. Murdoch Children's Research Institute and Hugh Williamson Gait Laboratory, Royal Children's Hospital, Victoria, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Meg E. Morris,

    1. Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Gait Analysis and Gait Rehabilitation, Victoria, Australia
    2. School of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Robert Iansek

    1. Centre for Clinical Research Excellence in Gait Analysis and Gait Rehabilitation, Victoria, Australia
    2. Geriatric Research Unit, Kingston Centre Southern Health, Cheltenham, Victoria, Australia
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

Turning during walking is frequently problematic in Parkinson's disease (PD). The spatiotemporal characteristics of footstep adjustments used to turn 60 and 120 degrees were examined in 10 people with PD and 10 age, gender- and height-matched control subjects, using three-dimensional motion analysis. Control subjects used a recognizable pattern of spatial and temporal footstep modulations to turn. Participants with PD demonstrated significant differences in almost all variables. They (1) failed to turn as far as their peers; (2) showed a similar but scaled-down pattern of spatial adjustments to turn; (3) used shorter strides when walking, with exaggerated reductions when turning; and (4) demonstrated small but significant temporal differences in step time adjustments. Group differences were more marked for the larger turn. Spatial results, interpreted in light of hypothesized basal ganglia dysfunction, are consistent with a normal motor command but impaired ability to maintain movement amplitude. Differences in adjustment of step time to turn may reflect impaired locomotor timing control in subjects with PD during challenging gait tasks. © 2008 Movement Disorder Society

Ancillary