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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2013 April;49(2):161-7


language: English

The relation between Parkinson’s disease and ageing - Comparison of the gait patterns of young Parkinson’s disease subjects with healthy elderly subjects

Sale P. 1, De Pandis M. F. 2, Vimercati S. L. 4, Sova I. 1, Foti C. 3, Tenore N. 1, Fini M. 1, Stocchi F. 1, Albertini G. 1, Franceschini M. 1, Galli M. 4

1 IRCCS San Raffaele, Rome, Italy; 2 San Raffaele Cassino, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy; 3 Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine Chair, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy; 4 Bioeng Department, Politecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy


Background: The gait of healthy elderly and of subjects with Parkinson’s disease (PD) displays some common features, suggesting that PD may be a model of ageing.
Aim: The aim of the study was to quantify highlight the differences and similarities between the gait patterns of young PD and healthy elderly, to uncover if PD could be assumed as a model of ageing.
Design: An optoelectronic system was used for 3D gait analysis evaluation.
Population and methods: We compared the gait parameters of 15 young PD (YPD) with the gait of 32 healthy elderly subjects (ES) and 21 healthy subjects age-matched with the PD subjects. Results. Common features between YPD and ES were majorly found in the parameters that reflect the presence of an unstable, uncertain gait, and of corrective strategies employed to reduce instability. On the other side, typical features were present in the gait patterns of PD subjects. Conclusion. Our study helped identifying some typical characteristics of the onset disease, and to unravel the symptoms of ageing from those of PD by comparing young PD subjects to elderly healthy subjects.
Clinical rehabilitation impact: This allows a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying the gait in ageing and PD.

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