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J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2017 May 23;14(1):44. doi: 10.1186/s12984-017-0257-7.

Gait initiation and termination strategies in patients with Prader-Willi syndrome.

Author information

1
Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32, 20133, Milan, Italy. veronica.cimolin@polimi.it.
2
Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering, Politecnico di Milano, Piazza Leonardo da Vinci, 32, 20133, Milan, Italy.
3
IRCCS "San Raffaele Pisana", Tosinvest Sanità, Rome, Italy.
4
Orthopaedic Rehabilitation Unit and Clinical Lab for Gait Analysis and Posture, Ospedale San Giuseppe, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, IRCCS, Via Cadorna 90, I-28824, Piancavallo (VB), Italy.
5
Unit of Auxology, Ospedale San Giuseppe, Istituto Auxologico Italiano, IRCCS, Via Cadorna 90, I-28824, Piancavallo (VB), Italy.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Gait Initiation (GI) is a functional task representing one of the first voluntary destabilizing behaviours observed in the development of a locomotor pattern as the whole body centre of mass transitions from a large to a small base of support. Conversely, Gait Termination (GT) consists in the transition from walking to standing which, in everyday life, is a very common movement. Compared to normal walking, it requires higher control of postural stability. For a safe GT, the forward movement of the body has to be slowed down to achieve a stable upright position. Stability requirements have to be fulfilled for safe GT. In individuals with Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), excessive body weight negatively affects the movement, such as walking and posture, but there are no experimental studies about GI and GT in these individuals. The aim of this study was to quantitatively characterise the strategy of patients with PWS during GI and GT using parameters obtained by the Center of Pressure (CoP) track.

METHODS:

Twelve patients with PWS, 20 obese (OG) and 19 healthy individuals (HG) were tested using a force platform during the GI and GT tasks. CoP plots were divided into different phases, and duration, length and velocity of the CoP trace in these phases were calculated and compared for each task.

RESULTS:

As for GI, the results showed a significant reduction of the task duration and lower velocity and CoP length parameters in PWS, compared to OG and HG. In PWS, those parameters were reduced to a higher degree with respect to the OG. During GT, longer durations, similar to OG, were observed in PWS than HG. Velocity is reduced when compared to OG and HG, especially in medio-lateral direction and in the terminal part of GT.

CONCLUSIONS:

From these data, GI appears to be a demanding task in most of its sub-phases for PWS individuals, while GT seems to require caution only towards the end of the task. Breaking the cycle of gait into the phases of GI and GT and implementing specific exercises focusing on weight transfer and foot clearance during the transition phase from the steady condition to gait will possibly improve the effectiveness of rehabilitation and fall and injury prevention.

KEYWORDS:

Center of pressure; Gait initiation; Gait termination; Obesity; Prader-Willi syndrome; Rehabilitation

PMID:
28535762
PMCID:
PMC5442593
DOI:
10.1186/s12984-017-0257-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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