Gait Pattern and Cognitive Performance During Treadmill Walking in Parkinson Disease

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


Objective: 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.

Design: 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.

Results: 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.

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

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attention*
  • Cognition
  • Female
  • Gait*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Parkinson Disease / rehabilitation*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Walking