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Quantification of upper body movements during gait in older adults and in those with Parkinson's disease: impact of acceleration realignment methodologies

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).


© 2016 The Authors The upper body accelerations of people with Parkinson's disease (PD) measured by inertial measurement units (IMUs) may contribute towards diagnostic algorithms and help track disease progression. Before extracting variables related to upper body motion, acceleration signals require realignment to a global reference; however, the impact of these techniques on the resulting upper body variables is unclear. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to examine the impact of four different realignment methods designed to correct acceleration signals on a range of upper body variables in older adults and in patients with PD. Two minutes of continuous gait were measured in 54 community-dwelling older adults (71.1 ± 6.7 years) and 60 people with PD (age: 68.5 ± 9.1 years). Three IMUs placed on the 5th lumbar vertebra, 7th cervical vertebra and the back of the head recorded the acceleration of the upper body. A selection of upper body variables sensitive to impaired upper body control in PD and four acceleration realignment methods were compared. A mixed-model ANOVA showed that the choice of realignment method significantly affected the values of upper body variables as well as their ability to discriminate between the PD and control group. Our findings indicate researchers and clinicians should be cautious when comparing upper body variables extracted from IMUs using different realignment methods, and consideration of realignment technique will be important when identifying the most sensitive markers of disease presence and progression. Therefore, it's strongly recommend that researchers consider and report their realignment methods when assessing upper body variables during gait.

Publication metadata

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

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Gait and Posture

Year: 2017

Volume: 52

Pages: 265-271

Print publication date: 01/02/2017

Online publication date: 02/12/2016

Acceptance date: 29/11/2016

Date deposited: 19/04/2017

ISSN (print): 0966-6362

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2219

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2016.11.047


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