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Longitudinal changes over thirty-six months in postural control dynamics and cognitive function in people with Parkinson's disease

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Annette PantallORCiD, 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).


Background Postural instability is a common motor feature in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) together with non-motor features such as cognitive dysfunction. Management of postural instability is challenging as it is often resistant to dopaminergic therapy. Greater knowledge of postural control is essential to understand postural instability in PD.Research QuestionThis study aimed to answer how postural control differs in people with PD compared to healthy older adults (HOA). Additionally, postural control changes over a 36 month period and its relationship to cognitive impairment and motor scores were investigated.Methods. The study group consisted of 50 people diagnosed with PD and 59 HOAs, recruited as part of an incident cohort study (ICICLE-GAIT). Participants stood still for 2 minutes, eyes open and arms by their side. A single tri-axial accelerometer (Axivity AX3, York, UK) on the lower back recorded acceleration. Measurements were taken at 18, 36 and 54 months after recruitment. Sample entropy (SampEn), which measures signal predictability, was determined for the accelerometry data. Cognitive tests included the Montreal Cognitive Assessment and the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS III) quantified motor function. Linear mixed models, regression analysis and correlation analysis were applied to the data.Results indicated that SampEn was greater for the PD group at all three time-points and along all three axes. However, there was no increase of SampEn with disease progression. Higher SampEn values were associated with greater cognitive impairment and lower UPDRS III, although correlations were weak. There was a difference between axial directions and cognitive and motor scores.Significance People with PD exhibit decreased regularity of trunk dynamics when standing compared to HOAs. Nonlinear accelerometer metrics along all three axes are therefore a potential biomarker of PD. The relationship between trunk dynamics and cognitive function indicates common neural pathways.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pantall A, Del Din S, Rochester L

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Gait & Posture

Year: 2018

Volume: 62

Pages: 468-474

Print publication date: 01/05/2018

Online publication date: 13/04/2018

Acceptance date: 12/04/2018

Date deposited: 19/04/2018

ISSN (print): 0966-6362

ISSN (electronic): 1879-2219

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2018.04.016


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