Relationships between gait and dynamic balance in early Parkinson's disease

Gait Posture. 2008 May;27(4):611-5. doi: 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2007.08.003. Epub 2007 Sep 24.


This study examined the relationships between gait and dynamic balance in people with early-stage Parkinson's disease (PD). We assessed 18 participants diagnosed with stage I-II idiopathic PD and 17 healthy age-matched volunteers. Temporo-spatial gait variables were analyzed using the GAITRite system and participants were asked to walk at a comfortable walking speed. Dynamic balance was assessed using the Balance Master. Movement velocity (MV), maximal excursion (ME), and directional control (DC), obtained through the limits of stability test, quantified dynamic balance. People with early stage PD exhibited significantly slower walking speed, shorter stride length, and smaller forward MV than the comparison group. In the PD group, stride length and speed significantly correlated with forward MV, forward ME, and forward DC. Thus, in people with early PD, gait speed and stride length are correlated with dynamic balance, particularly in the forward direction in standing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Gait / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Postural Balance / physiology*