Infoscience

Journal article

Gait assessment in Parkinson's disease: toward an ambulatory system for long-term monitoring

An ambulatory gait analysis method using body-attached gyroscopes to estimate spatio-temporal parameters of gait has been proposed and validated against a reference system for normal and pathologic gait. Later, ten Parkinson's disease (PD) patients with subthalamic nucleus deep brain stimulation (STN-DBS) implantation participated in gait measurements using our device. They walked one to three times on a 20-m walkway. Patients did the test twice: once STN-DBS was ON and once 180 min after turning it OFF. A group of ten age-matched normal subjects were also measured as controls. For each gait cycle, spatio-temporal parameters such as stride length (SL), stride velocity (SV), stance (ST), double support (DS), and gait cycle time (GC) were calculated. We found that PD patients had significantly different gait parameters comparing to controls. They had 52% less SV, 60% less SL, and 40% longer GC. Also they had significantly longer ST and DS (11% and 59% more, respectively) than controls. STN-DBS significantly improved gait parameters. During the Stim ON period, PD patients had 31% faster SV, 26% longer SL, 6% shorter ST, and 26% shorter DS. GC, however, was not signiflicantly different. Some of the gait parameters had high correlation with Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) subscores including SL with a significant correlation (τ = -0.90) with UPDRS gait subscore. We concluded that our method provides a simple yet effective way of ambulatory gait analysis in PD patients with results confirming those obtained from much more complex and expensive methods used in gait labs.

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