Sensor-based gait analysis in atypical parkinsonian disorders

Brain Behav. 2018 Jun;8(6):e00977. doi: 10.1002/brb3.977. Epub 2018 May 7.


Background and objectives: Gait impairment and reduced mobility are typical features of idiopathic Parkinson's disease (iPD) and atypical parkinsonian disorders (APD). Quantitative gait assessment may have value in the diagnostic workup of parkinsonian patients and as endpoint in clinical trials. The study aimed to identify quantitative gait parameter differences in iPD and APD patients using sensor-based gait analysis and to correlate gait parameters with clinical rating scales.

Subjects and methods: Patients with iPD and APD including Parkinson variant multiple system atrophy and progressive supranuclear palsy matched for age, gender, and Hoehn and Yahr (≤3) were recruited at two Movement Disorder Units and assessed using standardized clinical rating scales (MDS-UPDRS-3, UMSARS, PSP-RS). Gait analysis consisted of inertial sensor units laterally attached to shoes, generating as objective targets spatiotemporal gait parameters from 4 × 10 m walk tests.

Results: Objective sensor-based gait analysis showed that gait speed and stride length were markedly reduced in APD compared to iPD patients. Moreover, clinical ratings significantly correlated with gait speed and stride length in APD patients.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that patients with APD had more severely impaired gait parameters than iPD patients despite similar disease severity. Instrumented gait analysis provides complementary rater independent, quantitative parameters that can be exploited for clinical trials and care.

Keywords: atypical parkinsonian disorders; multiple system atrophy; parkinson's disease; progressive supranuclear palsy; sensor-based gait analysis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Equipment
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Gait Analysis* / instrumentation
  • Gait Analysis* / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple System Atrophy / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease* / diagnosis
  • Parkinson Disease* / physiopathology
  • Parkinsonian Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Parkinsonian Disorders* / physiopathology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Supranuclear Palsy, Progressive / diagnosis
  • Walking Speed*