Can quantitative gait analysis be used to guide treatment of patients with different subtypes of parkinson’s disease?

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Purpose: Gait impairment is a common clinical symptom of patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Detecting specific gait parameters’ changes in order to guide clinical intervention is at present lacking. The present study aimed to (1) quantify gait impairments in different PD subtypes and (2) explore whether the results of quantitative gait analysis are beneficial to clinical treatment. Patients and Methods: We enrolled 86 patients with PD (48 men, and 38 women) from the Department of Geriatrics of the Affiliated Brain Hospital of Nanjing Medical University. Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and Hoehn-Yahr Scale were used to evaluate the motor symptoms of PD. All patients stopped anti-Parkinsonian medication for 24 hours (72 hours for controlled release medicine). The patients were divided into two subtypes, namely, postural instability gait difficulty (PIGD; n=56) and tremor dominant (TD; n=30) subtypes according to UPDRS. All patients completed the instrumented stand and walk test, and a set of JiBuEn gait analysis system was used in gait data collection. Results: We observed a shorter stride length (p=0.021), a longer stride time (p=0.036), a faster cadence (p=0.036), and a more variable stride length (p=0.012) in the PIGD group compared with the TD group. In addition, compared with the TD group, we found that the toe-off angle (p=0.005) and the range of motion of ankle joint (p=0.009) decreased in the PIGD group. Conclusion: Our study demonstrated that the gait performance of patients with PIGD is worse than those with TD from the perspective of quantitative gait analysis. We extended previous research and found the PIGD group exhibited severe gait impairments in some specific spatiotemporal and kinematic gait parameters. The different manifestations of these gait impairments may guide in choosing appropriate treatment of patients with different PD subtypes.




Wu, Z., Zhong, M., Jiang, X., Shen, B., Zhu, J., Pan, Y., … Zhang, L. (2020). Can quantitative gait analysis be used to guide treatment of patients with different subtypes of parkinson’s disease? Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 16, 2335–2341.

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