Association between Gait Variability and Gait-Ability Decline in Elderly Women with Subthreshold Insomnia Stage.
ABSTRACT: This study investigates the gait characteristics of elderly women, aged more than 65 years, with subthreshold insomnia stage at various walking speeds. A total of 392 participants (insomnia: 202 and controls: 190) wearing shoe-type inertial measurement units completed walking tests on a treadmill for a duration of 1 min at slower, preferred, and faster speeds. The insomnia group indicated lower pace parameters (range of Cohen's d: 0.283-0.499) and the single support phase (Cohen's d: 0.237), greater gait variability (range of Cohen's d: 0.217-0.506), and bilateral coordination (range of Cohen's d: 0.254-0.319), compared with their age-matched controls; the coefficient of variance (CV) of the stance phase at the faster speed condition was a crucial variable for distinguishing between insomnia and control groups. In addition, the insomnia group demonstrated insufficient gait adaptation at the slower and preferred speeds, as indicated by the CVs of the stride length, stride time, and step time. In particular, participants with worsened insomnia symptoms or sleep problems showed that these worse gait patterns may increase the potential risk of falling in elderly women. Thus, elderly women with subthreshold insomnia stage need to improve their sleep quality to enhance their physical functions.
Project description:Overground gait assessment is limited by the analysis of multiple strides or both spatiotemporal gait characteristics, while fixed speed treadmill walking restricts natural gait speed variations. The Gait Real-time Analysis Interactive Lab (GRAIL)-based 6-minute walk test (6MWT) enables 3D motion analysis and self-paced treadmill walking, and could provide insight in gait alterations in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The aim of this study is to compare spatiotemporal gait characteristics between patients with COPD and healthy elderly during the GRAIL-based 6MWT.Eighty COPD patients (60% male; 62±7 years; FEV1:56±19% predicted) and 38 healthy elderly (63% male; 62±6 years; FEV1:119±17% predicted) performed two GRAIL-based 6MWTs. Mean differences and coefficient of variation of spatiotemporal gait characteristics were calculated using the trial with the largest walk distance. Sub-analyses were conducted to account for walking speed differences between groups, and muscle strength and COPD severity within the patient group.COPD patients showed increased temporal gait characteristics, decreased stride and step lengths, and increased gait variability compared to healthy elderly (p<0.01). Stride length variability remained increased in COPD after correction for walking speed (MD:0.98%, CI:0.36-1.61, p = 0.003). Reduced quadriceps strength did not translate into altered gait characteristics, while COPD severity is associated with stride time (left MD:-0.02s, CI:-0.04-0.01, p = 0.003; right MD:-0.02s, CI:-0.04-0.01, p = 0.003).COPD patients performed the GRAIL-based 6MWT differently compared to healthy elderly. Further research should use other variability measures to investigate gait characteristics in COPD, to assess subtle alterations in gait and to enable development of rehabilitation strategies to improve gait, and possibly balance and fall risk in COPD. Other lower limb muscle groups should be considered when investigating gait alterations in COPD.COPD patients have different gait characteristics compared to healthy elderly. Independent of walking speed, COPD patients demonstrate increased stride length variability during the GRAIL-based 6MWT compared to healthy elderly.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Gait speed is an important outcome that relates to mobility, function, and mortality, and is altered in people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD). However, changes in gait speed may not reflect changes in other important aspects of gait. OBJECTIVE:To characterize which outcomes change concomitantly with walking speed in PwPD. This information can inform the choice of outcome variables for characterizing and tracking gait performance in this population. METHODS:67 PwPD and 40 neurotypical adults completed 2-minute overground walking bouts at comfortable and fast self-selected speeds. Eight inertial sensors were used to characterize gait and turning. We identified a subset of participants (38 per group) where the PD participant's "fast" walk was similar speed to neurotypical participants "comfortable" walk, facilitating an across-group gait comparison controlling for gait speed. RESULTS:Walking at fast gait speed compared to comfortable lead to significant changes in stride length, cadence, and stride time variability, but not in steps to turn, trunk ROM, and trunk and lumbar stability in PwPD. Sub-group analyses showed that despite walking at a similar speed as neurotypical adults, PwPD exhibit altered turning outcomes, lumbar stability, and stride length/cadence. CONCLUSIONS:Gait speed is a critical outcome for characterizing mobility. However, in PwPD, several important outcomes do not exhibit a uniform relationship with gait speed, and remain altered compared to neurotypical adults despite "normalizing" walking speed. Given the complex relationship between gait speed and other gait quality measures, care should be taken when choosing outcome measures to characterize the breadth of gait abnormality in PwPD.
Project description:Lower extremity powered exoskeletons (LEPE) are an emerging technology that assists people with lower-limb paralysis. LEPE for people with complete spinal cord injury walk at very slow speeds, below 0.5m/s. For the able-bodied population, very slow walking uses different neuromuscular, locomotor, postural, and dynamic balance control. Speed dependent kinetic and kinematic regression equations in the literature could be used for very slow walking LEPE trajectory scaling; however, kinematic and kinetic information at walking speeds below 0.5 m/s is lacking. Scaling LEPE trajectories using current reference equations may be inaccurate because these equations were produced from faster than real-world LEPE walking speeds. An improved understanding of how able-bodied people biomechanically adapt to very slow walking will provide LEPE developers with more accurate models to predict and scale LEPE gait trajectories. Full body motion capture data were collected from 30 healthy adults while walking on an instrumented self-paced treadmill, within a CAREN-Extended virtual reality environment. Kinematic and kinetic data were collected for 0.2 m/s-0.8 m/s, and self-selected walking speed. Thirty-three common sagittal kinematic and kinetic gait parameters were identified from motion capture data and inverse dynamics. Gait parameter relationships to walking speed, cadence, and stride length were determined with linear and quadratic (second and third order) regression. For parameters with a non-linear relationship with speed, cadence, or stride-length, linear regressions were used to determine if a consistent inflection occurred for faster and slower walking speeds. Group mean equations were applied to each participant's data to determine the best performing equations for calculating important peak sagittal kinematic and kinetic gait parameters. Quadratic models based on walking speed had the strongest correlations with sagittal kinematic and kinetic gait parameters, with kinetic parameters having the better results. The lack of a consistent inflection point indicated that the kinematic and kinetic gait strategies did not change at very slow gait speeds. This research showed stronger associations with speed and gait parameters then previous studies, and provided more accurate regression equations for gait parameters at very slow walking speeds that can be used for LEPE joint trajectory development.
Project description:Evaluating gait stability at slower or faster speeds and self-preferred speeds based on continuous steps may assist in determining the severity of motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. This study aimed to investigate the gait ability at imposed speed conditions in PD patients during overground walking. Overall, 74 PD patients and 52 age-matched healthy controls were recruited. Levodopa was administered to patients in the PD group, and all participants completed imposed slower, preferred, and faster speed walking tests along a straight 15-m walkway wearing shoe-type inertial measurement units. Reliability of the slower and faster conditions between the estimated and measured speeds indicated excellent agreement for PD patients and controls. PD patients demonstrated higher gait asymmetry (GA) and coefficient of variance (CV) for stride length and stance phase than the controls at slower speeds and higher CVs for phases for single support, double support, and stance. CV of the double support phase could distinguish between PD patients and controls at faster speeds. The GA and CVs of stride length and phase-related variables were associated with motor symptoms in PD patients. Speed conditions should be considered during gait analysis. Gait variability could evaluate the severity of motor symptoms in PD patients.
Project description:The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of subsensory vibratory noise applied to the soles of the feet on gait variability in a population of elderly recurrent fallers compared to non-fallers and young controls. Eighteen elderly recurrent fallers and 18 elderly non-fallers were recruited from the MOBILIZE Boston Study (MBS), a population-based cohort study investigating novel risk factors for falls. Twelve young participants were included as controls. Participants performed three 6-min walking trials while wearing a pair of insoles containing vibrating actuators. During each trial, the noise stimulus was applied for 3 of the 6min, and differences in stride, stance, and swing time variability were analyzed between noise and no-noise conditions. The use of vibrating insoles significantly reduced stride, stance, and swing time variability measures for elderly recurrent fallers. Elderly non-fallers also demonstrated significant reductions in stride and stance time variability. Although young participants showed decreases in all variability measures, the results did not achieve statistical significance. Gait variability reductions with noise were similar between the elderly recurrent fallers and elderly non-fallers. This study supports the hypothesis that subsensory vibratory noise applied to the soles of the feet can reduce gait variability in elderly participants. Future studies are needed to determine if this intervention reduces falls risk.
Project description:Inertial measurement unit (IMU)-based gait analysis can be used to quantitatively analyze the bilateral coordination and gait asymmetry (GA). The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in bilateral coordination and GA due to gait speed using an IMU based gait analysis and identify spatiotemporal factors affecting bilateral coordination and GA. Eighty healthy adults (40 men and 40 women) participated in the study. The mean age was 26.2 years, and the mean body mass index was 22.8 kg/m2. Three different walking speeds (80%, 100%, and 120% of preferred walking speed) on a treadmill were applied for 1 min of continuous level walking using a shoe-type IMU-based gait analysis system. The phase coordination index (PCI) and GA were calculated on three different walking speeds. Several variables (gait speed, height, body mass index, cadence, and step length) were analyzed as possible factors affecting the PCI and GA. Bilateral coordination and GA improved during fast walking (p = 0.005 and p = 0.019, respectively) and deteriorated during slow walking (p<0.001 and p = 0.008, respectively), compared with the participants' preferred walking speeds. The correlation analysis revealed that PCI was negatively correlated with step length at each walking condition and lower gait speed was negatively correlated with PCI and GA during slow walking. Both bilateral coordination and GA had a negative linear relationship with gait speed, showing an improvement in the fast walking condition and deterioration in the slow walking condition. Step length was the factor associated with the change in the bilateral coordination.
Project description:Considering that most of the falls in elderly population arise during walking, tests derived from walking performance would be desirable for comprehensive fall risk assessment. The analysis of spatial temporal parameters and the center of pressure displacement, which represents the interaction between the human body and the ground, would be beneficial. The aim of this study was to compare spatial temporal gait parameters and their variability and the variability of the center of pressure displacement between elderly fallers and nonfallers during gait at self-selected, defined and fast speeds. A prospective study design was used. At the baseline, measurements of ground reaction force during gait at self-selected, defined and fast walking speeds by two force plates were performed. In addition, the Tinetti balance assessment tool, the Falls Efficacy Scale-International and the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale were used. Mean and coefficient of variation of spatial temporal gait parameters and standard deviations of center of pressure displacement during loading response, midstance, terminal stance and preswing phases were calculated. Comparison of the fallers and nonfallers exhibited no significant difference in clinical tool, scales or spatial temporal parameters. Compared to nonfallers' increased variability of walking speed at self-selected and defined speed, step width at fast walking speed and center of pressure displacement during preswing phase in medial-lateral directions at defined walking speed was found in fallers. However, application of the Holm-Bonferroni procedure for multiple comparisons exhibited no significant effect of group in any of the gait parameters. In general, our study did not observe an effect of group (fallers vs. nonfallers) on variability of spatial temporal parameters and center of pressure movement during gait. However, walking speed, step width as well as standard deviation of COP displacement in the medial-lateral direction during preswing exhibited a certain potential for distinguishing between elderly fallers and nonfallers.
Project description:Spinal pattern generators in quadrupedal animals can coordinate different forms of locomotion, like trotting or galloping, by altering coordination between the limbs (interlimb coordination). In the human system, infants have been used to study the subcortical control of gait, since the cerebral cortex and corticospinal tract are immature early in life. Like other animals, human infants can modify interlimb coordination to jump or step. Do human infants possess functional neuronal circuitry necessary to modify coordination within a limb (intralimb coordination) in order to generate distinct forms of alternating bipedal gait, such as walking and running? We monitored twenty-eight infants (7-12 months) stepping on a treadmill at speeds ranging between 0.06-2.36 m/s, and seventeen adults (22-47 years) walking or running at speeds spanning the walk-to-run transition. Six of the adults were tested with body weight support to mimic the conditions of infant stepping. We found that infants could accommodate a wide range of speeds by altering stride length and frequency, similar to adults. Moreover, as the treadmill speed increased, we observed periods of flight during which neither foot was in ground contact in infants and in adults. However, while adults modified other aspects of intralimb coordination and the mechanics of progression to transition to a running gait, infants did not make comparable changes. The lack of evidence for distinct walking and running patterns in infants suggests that the expression of different functional, alternating gait patterns in humans may require neuromuscular maturation and a period of learning post-independent walking.
Project description:<b>Objective:</b> This study aimed to investigate the gait pattern of elderly women with and without fall-history, with high and low fear of falling, when exposed to a disturbing factor. <b>Materials and Methods:</b> Forty-nine elderly women without cognitive impairment agreed to participate. Participants were divided into four groups, considering the history of falls and fear of falling. Three-dimensional gait analysis was performed to assess gait kinematics before and after exposure to the fictional disturbing factor (psychological and non-motor agent). <b>Results:</b> After being exposed to the perturbation, all showed shorter step length, stride length and slower walking speed. Those without fall-history and with high fear of falling showed greater changes and lower Gait Profile Score. <b>Conclusion:</b> The gait changes shown in the presence of a fear-of-falling causing agent led to a cautious gait pattern in an attempt to increase protection. However, those changes increased fall-risk, boosted by fear of falling. <b>Clinical Trial Registration:</b> www.residentialclinics.gov.br, identifier: RBR-35xhj5.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A robotic exoskeleton device is an intelligent system designed to improve gait performance and quality of life for the wearer. Robotic technology has developed rapidly in recent years, and several robot-assisted gait devices were developed to enhance gait function and activities of daily living in elderly adults and patients with gait disorders. In this study, we investigated the effects of the Gait-enhancing Mechatronic System (GEMS), a new wearable robotic hip-assist device developed by Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd., Korea, on gait performance and foot pressure distribution in elderly adults. METHODS:Thirty elderly adults who had no neurological or musculoskeletal abnormalities affecting gait participated in this study. A three-dimensional (3D) motion capture system, surface electromyography and the F-Scan system were used to collect data on spatiotemporal gait parameters, muscle activity and foot pressure distribution under three conditions: free gait without robot assistance (FG), robot-assisted gait with zero torque (RAG-Z) and robot-assisted gait (RAG). RESULTS:We found increased gait speed, cadence, stride length and single support time in the RAG condition. Reduced rectus femoris and medial gastrocnemius muscle activity throughout the terminal stance phase and reduced effort of the medial gastrocnemius muscle throughout the pre-swing phase were also observed in the RAG condition. In addition, walking with the assistance of GEMS resulted in a significant increase in foot pressure distribution, specifically in maximum force and peak pressure of the total foot, medial masks, anterior masks and posterior masks. CONCLUSION:The results of the present study reveal that GEMS may present an alternative way of restoring age-related changes in gait such as gait instability with muscle weakness, reduced step force and lower foot pressure in elderly adults. In addition, GEMS improved gait performance by improving push-off power and walking speed and reducing muscle activity in the lower extremities. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT02843828 .