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Gait Variability is Altered in Older Adults When Listening to Auditory Stimuli with Differing Temporal Structures

Biomedical Sciences Research Institute Computer Science Research Institute Environmental Sciences Research Institute Nanotechnology & Advanced Materials Research Institute

Kaipust, Jeffrey P., McGrath, Denise, Mukherjee, Mukul and Stergiou, Nicholas (2013) Gait Variability is Altered in Older Adults When Listening to Auditory Stimuli with Differing Temporal Structures. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 41 (8). pp. 1595-1603. [Journal article]

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DOI: 10.1007/s10439-012-0654-9

Abstract

Gait variability in the context of a deterministic dynamical system may be quantified using nonlinear time series analyses that characterize the complexity of the system. Pathological gait exhibits altered gait variability. It can be either too periodic and predictable, or too random and disordered, as is the case with aging. While gait therapies often focus on restoration of linear measures such as gait speed or stride length, we propose that the goal of gait therapy should be to restore optimal gait variability, which exhibits chaotic fluctuations and is the balance between predictability and complexity. In this context, our purpose was to investigate how listening to different auditory stimuliaffects gait variability. Twenty-seven young and 27 elderly subjects walked on a treadmill for 5 min while listening to white noise, a chaotic rhythm, a metronome, and with no auditory stimulus. Stride length, step width, and stride intervals were calculated for all conditions. Detrended Fluctuation Analysis was then performed on these time series. A quadratic trend analysis determined that an idealized inverted-U shape described the relationship between gait variability and the structure of the auditory stimuli for the elderly group, but not for the young group. This proof-of-concept study shows that the gait of older adults may be manipulated using auditory stimuli. Future work will investigate which structures of auditory stimuli lead to improvements in functional status in older adults.

Item Type:Journal article
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > Ulster Sports Academy
Research Institutes and Groups:Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute
ID Code:23633
Deposited By:Dr Denise McGrath
Deposited On:12 Nov 2012 16:23
Last Modified:26 Sep 2013 16:02

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