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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2015 Nov;94(11):931-40. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000392.

Gait Pattern and Cognitive Performance During Treadmill Walking in Parkinson Disease.

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From the Faculty of Sciences of Sport and Physical Education, Department of Physical Education (HF-L, VL-A, JAS, LM, MAF-d-O), and Physical Therapy Department, Faculty of Physical Therapy (OB), University of A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain.



The aim of this study was to explore whether attentional demands are involved in gait improvements in Parkinson disease (PD) patients when they walk on a treadmill.


Nineteen individuals with idiopathic PD and 19 age-matched healthy controls participated in this study. Participants walked on a treadmill and on overground under single task (walk only) and dual task (walk performing a simultaneous cognitive task) conditions. The dual-task paradigm was used to reveal the attention allocation behavior. Gait pattern and cognitive performance was measured.


The PD group showed reduced gait variability when walking on a treadmill in comparison with overground. However, this reduction did not deteriorate during the dual task. Moreover, there were no differences in the cognitive performance between treadmill and overground walking.


This study does not support the proposition attentional resource allocation as a possible mechanism for the treadmill-associated gait improvements observed in PD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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