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Attenuation of Upper Body Accelerations during Gait: Piloting an Innovative Assessment Tool for Parkinson's Disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher Buckley, Dr Brook Galna, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


The objective of the current investigation was to explore whether upper body accelerations obtained during gait provide sensitive measures of postural control in people with Parkinson's disease (PD). Thirteen people with PD (70 +/- 11 years) and nineteen age-matched controls (70 +/- 7 years) walked continuously for two minutes while wearing three inertial sensors located on their lower back (L5), shoulder level (C7), and head. Magnitude (root mean square (RMS)), attenuation (attenuation coefficient), and smoothness (Harmonic ratios, HR) of the accelerations were calculated. People with PD demonstrated greater RMS, particularly in the mediolateral direction, but similar harmonic ratio of head accelerations compared to controls. In addition, they did not attenuate accelerations through the trunk and neck as well as control participants. Our findings indicate that measuring upper body movement provides unique information regarding postural control in PD and that poor attenuation of acceleration from the pelvis to the head contributes to impaired head control. This information is simple to measure and appears to be sensitive to PD and, consequently, is proposed to benefit researchers and clinicians.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Buckley C, Galna B, Rochester L, Mazza C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BioMed Research International

Year: 2015

Volume: 2015

Online publication date: 11/10/2015

Acceptance date: 21/01/2015

Date deposited: 16/06/2016

ISSN (print): 2314-6133

ISSN (electronic): 2314-6141

Publisher: Hindawi Publishing Corporation


DOI: 10.1155/2015/865873


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