The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Parkinson's disease (PD) on upper body acceleration patterns during level walking. Twenty-three patients with PD and 29 controls of similar age participated in this study. Subjects walked along a 12 m linear walkway at self-selected comfortable speeds. Upper body accelerations were measured using three-axis accelerometers located at the pelvis, shoulder, and head. Acceleration magnitude, stride-to-stride irregularity, and degree of coupling among three body parts were derived from the acceleration signals. In the vertical (supero-inferior) direction, PD patients exhibited a smaller acceleration magnitude, a more irregular pattern, and less coupling of acceleration among body parts compared to the controls (p<0.05). In the anterio-posterior (AP) direction, acceleration magnitude at the pelvis in PD patients was smaller than that in the controls (p<0.05). In addition, the phase lag of AP head acceleration from shoulder and pelvis was smaller in PD patients than in the controls (p<0.05). These results suggest that PD patients walk with reduced ankle power generation and a more rigid upper body in the AP direction and with more irregular muscle force generation in the SI direction.
|Journal||Journal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology|
|Publication status||Published - 2016 Dec 1|
- Parkinson's disease
- upper body
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering