Does Positive Pressure Body Weight-Support Alter Spatiotemporal Gait Parameters in Healthy and Parkinsonian Individuals?
Evidence suggests treadmill training (TT) and body weight-supported treadmill training (BWSTT) are effective strategies to improve gait in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients. However, few researchers have investigated the spatiotemporal parameters during TT or BWSTT.
The goal of this study is to determine gait adaptations in PD and healthy subjects during positive pressure BWSTT and post-intervention overground walking.
Ten PD and ten healthy individuals participated in this study. Baseline spatiotemporal parameters were assessed using a six meter instrumented mat. A 10-min progressive BWSTT trial from 10% to 40% body weight support (BWS) was then completed. Video capture and analysis of 10-min BWSTT trials were performed to determine spatiotemporal gait parameters. Three (5-min, 10-min, and 15-min) post-intervention overground assessments were obtained.
During positive pressure BWSTT there was a significant effect of BW support on step length(SL) increase (p < 0.01) and cadence decrease (p < 0.001) in the healthy group but not in the PD group (p = 0.45 SL, p = 0.21 cadence). In post-intervention assessments there was a significant effect of time on velocity (p < 0.002 non-PD, p < 0.001 PD) and cadence (p < 0.05 non-PD, p < 0.01 PD) in both groups.
There appears to be a generalized effect of TT on overground gait mechanics after a single session of positive pressure BWSTT regardless of PD impairment.
Lander, J.J. & Moran, M.F. (2017). Does positive pressure body weight-support alter spatiotemporal gait parameters in healthy and parkinsonian individuals?. NeuroRehabilitation, 40(2), 271-276. doi:10.3233/NRE-161412