An investigation of the contribution of different turn speeds during standing turns in individuals with and without Parkinson’s disease

Khobkhun, Fuengfa, Paulo Roberto Pereira, Santiago, Ariany Klein, Tahara, Srivanitchapoom, Prachaya and Richards, James orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-4004-3115 (2022) An investigation of the contribution of different turn speeds during standing turns in individuals with and without Parkinson’s disease. Scientific Reports, 12 .

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Issues around turning can impair daily tasks and trigger episodes of freezing of gait in individuals with Parkinson's disease (PD). Slow speeds associated with aging produce a more en-bloc movement strategy which have been linked with falls while turning. However, the influence of speed of turning on the complex whole-body coordination considering eye movements, turning kinematics, and stepping characteristics during turning has not been examined. The aim of this study was to investigate if individuals with PD have a different response to changes in turning speed compared to healthy older adults during 180° standing turns. 20 individuals with PD and 20 healthy age matched adults participated in this study. Data were collected during clockwise and counter-clockwise turns at three self-selected speeds in a randomised order: (a) normal; (b) faster than normal; and (c) slower than normal. Eye movement and turning kinematics were investigated using electrooculography and Inertial Measurement Units. Mixed Model Analysis of Variance (MM ANOVA) tests with post hoc pairwise comparisons were performed to assess the differences between groups and turning speed. In addition, further post hoc Repeated Measures ANOVA (RM ANOVA) tests were performed if any significant interactions were seen between groups and turning speed. Significant interaction effects were found in eye movement and turning kinematics, and the RM ANOVA showed significant main effects for turning speeds within the PD and the control groups. Turning slowly resulted in similar alterations in eye movement, turning kinematics and stepping characteristics in the PD group and the healthy controls. However, individuals with PD showed a different response to the healthy controls, with a greater delay in eye movement and onset latency of segments in turning kinematics and step variables between the different speeds. These findings help our understanding regarding the turning strategies in individuals with PD. The incorporation of guidance with regard to faster turning speeds may be useful in the management of individuals with PD. Clinical training using different turn directions and speeds may improve coordination, increase confidence and reduce the risk of falling.

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