Gait measures with a triaxial accelerometer among patients with neurological impairment
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The purpose of the present study is to evaluate accelerometric parameters of gait in different neurological conditions with pathological gait impairment compared to healthy subjects. We studied 17 patients affected by Parkinson’s disease, 24 with ataxic gait due to different diseases and 24 healthy subjects supplied with a triaxial accelerometer with a portable datalogger which measures acceleration and deceleration on an anterior–posterior, mediolateral and vertical plane at an approximate level of the center of mass (back sacral localization) and in other two positions (sternal and frontal sacral region) during a steady-state walking. Analyses of the basic accelerometric parameters associated with a jerk analysis allowed us to differentiate between the population groups. We observed a significant reduction of acceleration parameters in neurological patients when compared with healthy subjects, with a reduction of the mean acceleration of 0.30 m/s2 for ataxic and 0.64 m/s2 for parkinsonian patients (t test, p < 0.01). The root-mean square of the accelerations was used to quantify the attenuations of accelerations. This study suggests that a triaxial accelerometer is a good practical and an economic tool for assessing the alteration of perambulation. Moreover, it is plausible to use these data to obtain objective parameters in the evaluation of the progression of the disease and the efficacy of therapeutic tools.
KeywordsGait analysis Accelerometry Triaxial accelerometer Parkinson’s disease Ataxia
The study was supported by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Cento. The authors thank Dr. Eva Sjolin for her help in revising the translation of the manuscript. We would also like to express our sincere appreciation to Mario Manca for helpful comments on the manuscript.
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