Gait stride-to-stride variability and foot clearance pattern analysis in Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease and Vascular Parkinsonism.


LIAAD, INESC TEC, Porto, Portugal. Electronic address: [Email]


The literature on gait analysis in Vascular Parkinsonism (VaP), addressing issues such as variability, foot clearance patterns, and the effect of levodopa, is scarce. This study investigates whether spatiotemporal, foot clearance and stride-to-stride variability analysis can discriminate VaP, and responsiveness to levodopa. Fifteen healthy subjects, 15 Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease (IPD) patients and 15 VaP patients, were assessed in two phases: before (Off-state), and one hour after (On-state) the acute administration of a suprathreshold (1.5 times the usual) levodopa dose. Participants were asked to walk a 30-meter continuous course at a self-selected walking speed while wearing foot-worn inertial sensors. For each gait variable, mean, coefficient of variation (CV), and standard deviations SD1 and SD2 obtained by Poincaré analysis were calculated. General linear models (GLMs) were used to identify group differences. Patients were subject to neuropsychological evaluation (MoCA test) and Brain MRI. VaP patients presented lower mean stride velocity, stride length, lift-off and strike angle, and height of maximum toe (later swing) (p < .05), and higher %gait cycle in double support, with only the latter unresponsive to levodopa. VaP patients also presented higher CV, significantly reduced after levodopa. Yet, all VaP versus IPD differences lost significance when accounting for mean stride length as a covariate. In conclusion, VaP patients presented a unique gait with reduced degrees of foot clearance, probably correlated to vascular lesioning in dopaminergic/non-dopaminergic cortical and subcortical non-dopaminergic networks, still amenable to benefit from levodopa. The dependency of gait and foot clearance and variability deficits from stride length deserves future clarification.


Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease,Levodopa,Short and long-term gait variability,Toe and heel clearance,Vascular Parkinsonism,

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