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Functional Neurology

Gait analysis and clinical correlations in early Parkinson’s disease

Original Article, 28 - 34
doi: 10.11138/FNeur/2017.32.1.028
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Abstract
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The aim of our study was to identify and quantify spatiotemporal and kinematic gait parameters obtained by 3D gait analysis (GA) in a group of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients compared with healthy subjects in order to investigate whether early PD patients could present an abnormal gait pattern.
Forty-four patients affected by early-stage PD compared with a control group were analyzed. All participants were evaluated with 3D GA in the gait laboratory.
The greatest significance in temporal parameters was found in cadence (102.46 ± 13.17 steps/min in parkinsonian patients vs 113.84 ± 4.30 steps/min in control subjects), followed by stride duration (1.19 ± 0.18 seconds right limb and 1.19 ± 0.19 seconds left limb in PD patients vs 0.426 ± 0.16 seconds right limb and 0.429 ± 0.23 seconds left limb in normal subjects) and stance duration.
Marked differences were also found in the swing phase and in swing duration (p<0.05), while the stance phase was not significantly different in patients compared with healthy subjects. A statistically different velocity in PD patients (0.082 ± 0.29 m/s) vs healthy subjects (1.33 ± 0.06 m/s) was shown by spatial parameter analysis.
Step width, stride length and swing velocity were highly significant parameters, as was average velocity.
Our study highlighted some distinguishing characteristics of gait in early PD. Ambulation disorders may be present in the early stage of PD and their detection allows for early medical treatment and possible rehabilitation.

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