Deficits of gait initiation and steady state gait are exacerbated by postural threat in Parkinson's disease patients

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Kurek, Justin
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2005
The effects of postural threat on gait initiation and steady state gait among Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients and age-matched adults were examined. Ten healthy adults (CTRL; mean age= 68.8 ± 8.4, range 56-80 years) and ten PD patients (PDOFF / ON ; mean age= 69.7 ± 10.3, range 54-81 years) initiated gait and continued with steady state walking along a walkway of two different height conditions. PD patients were first tested in a non-medicated state followed by testing in a medicated state. The results showed that gait initiation and steady state gait deficits inherent to PD are exacerbated in a postural threatening environment. As well, medication efficacy for overcoming parkinsonian deficits may be context dependent. These findings confirm the dynamic nature of movement deficits characteristic of parkinsonian patients and provide empirical evidence for specific environments that can create movement difficulties for people with PD.
x, 59 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm. --
Dissertations, Academic , Parkinson's disease -- Research , Equilibrium (Physiology) -- Research , Human beings -- Attitude and movement -- Research