Turning in Parkinson’s disease patients and controls: the effect of auditory cues.

Willems AM, Nieuwboer A, Chavret F, Desloovere K, Dom R, Rochester L, Kwakkel G, van Wegen E, Jones D

This study examines the turning characteristics in persons with Parkinsons Disease (PwPD) and explores the effect of rhythmic auditory cues while turning. Turning parameters were collected from a 180 degrees left U-turn during a noncued and a cued condition, using a 3D measuring system. Auditory cues were supplied with a metronome at a rhythm equaling the subject's comfortable step frequency during straight line walking. Results showed that in contrast to controls, the PwPD used a wider turning-arc and took smaller, narrower steps. In addition, they demonstrated a higher Coefficient of Variation of step duration compared to controls. The "wide-arc" turning strategy of PwPD was more prominent in freezers than in nonfreezers. Auditory cues reduced the CV of step duration in PwPD during turning.

Auditory cueing reduces the gait-timing variability during turning, but persons with Parkinsons Disease maintain a wider arc to turn compared with controls.

Movement Disorders, 2007, 22(13), 1871-8

Link to Abstract

Introduction to Neurology

Treating those with neurological impairments can seem complex and overwhelming at times. Get to grips with the basics and build strong foundations with the online introduction to neurology course.