Fallers with Parkinson's disease exhibit restrictive trunk control during walking

Deborah Jehu, Julie Nantel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: The relationship between falls and static and dynamic postural control has not been established in Parkinson's disease (PD). The purpose was to compare the compensatory postural strategies among fallers and non-fallers with PD as well as older adults during static and dynamic movements. Methods: Twenty-five individuals with PD (11 fallers) and 17 older adults were outfitted with 6 accelerometers on the wrists, ankles, lumbar spine, and sternum, stood quietly for 30 s on a force platform, and walked back and forth for 30 s along a 15 m walkway. Root-mean-square displacement amplitude of the center of pressure (COP), COP velocity, gait spatial-temporal characteristics, trunk range of motion (ROM), and peak trunk velocities were obtained. Results: COP velocity in anterior-posterior was larger in older adults than those with PD (p < 0.05). Trunk frontal ROM and velocity were smaller in fallers and non-fallers with PD compared to older adults (p < 0.05). Trunk anterior-posterior ROM and velocity were smaller in fallers than non-fallers with PD and older adults (p < 0.05). In fallers with PD, negative correlations were shown between the sagittal trunk velocity and the COP velocity in the anterior-posterior direction as well as between trunk frontal velocity and COP velocity in both directions (p < 0.05). In non-fallers with PD, horizontal trunk ROM and velocity were positively correlated with COP ROM and velocity in the medial-lateral direction (p < 0.01). Significance: Dynamic postural control revealed better discrimination between groups than static. Fallers and non-fallers with PD and older adults adopted different compensatory strategies during static and dynamic movements; thereby providing important information for falls-risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)246-250
Number of pages5
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Falls
  • Gait
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Postural strategies
  • Trunk stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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