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Vision, visuo-cognition and postural control in Parkinson's disease: An associative pilot study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Elizabeth Hill, Dr Sam Stuart, Dr Susan Lord, Dr Silvia Del DinORCiD, Professor Lynn RochesterORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


IntroductionImpaired postural control (PC) is common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and is a major contributor to falls, with significant consequences. Mechanisms underpinning PC are complex and include motor and non-motor features. Research has focused predominantly on motor and sensory inputs. Vision and visuo-cognitive function are also integral to PC but have largely been ignored to date. The aim of this observational cross-sectional pilot study was to explore the relationship of vision and visuo-cognition with PC in PD.MethodsTwelve people with PD and ten age-matched healthy controls (HC) underwent detailed assessments for vision, visuo-cognition and postural control. Vision assessments included visual acuity and contrast sensitivity. Visuo-cognition was measured by visuo-perception (object identification), visuo-construction (ability to copy a figure) and visuo-spatial ability (judge distances and location of object within environment). PC was measured by an accelerometer for a range of outcomes during a 2-min static stance. Spearman's correlations identified significant associations.ResultsContrast sensitivity, visuo-spatial ability and postural control (ellipsis) were significantly impaired in PD (p = 0.017; p = 0.001; and p = 0.017, respectively). For PD only, significant correlations were found for higher visuo-spatial function and larger ellipsis (r = 0.64; p = 0.024) and impaired attention and reduced visuo-spatial function (r = −0.62; p = 0.028).ConclusionsVisuo-spatial ability is associated with PC deficit in PD, but in an unexpected direction. This suggests a non-linear pattern of response. Further research is required to examine this novel and important finding.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hill E, Stuart S, Lord S, Del-Din S, Rochester L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Gait & Posture

Year: 2016

Volume: 48

Pages: 74-76

Print publication date: 01/07/2016

Online publication date: 30/04/2016

Acceptance date: 24/04/2016

Date deposited: 07/07/2016

ISSN (print): 0966-6362

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2219

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.04.024


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