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Keywords:

  • gait;
  • locomotion;
  • posture;
  • motor control;
  • Parkinson's disease

ABSTRACT

Successful locomotion depends on postural control to establish and maintain appropriate postural orientation of body segments relative to one another and to the environment and to ensure dynamic stability of the moving body. This article provides a framework for considering dynamic postural control, highlighting the importance of coordination, consistency, and challenges to postural control posed by various locomotor tasks, such as turning and backward walking. The impacts of aging and various movement disorders on postural control are discussed broadly in an effort to provide a general overview of the field and recommendations for assessment of dynamic postural control across different populations in both clinical and research settings. Suggestions for future research on dynamic postural control during locomotion also are provided and include discussion of opportunities afforded by new and developing technologies, the need for long-term monitoring of locomotor performance in everyday activities, gaps in our knowledge of how targeted intervention approaches modify dynamic postural control, and the relative paucity of literature regarding dynamic postural control in movement disorder populations other than Parkinson's disease. © 2013 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society