Can people with Parkinson's disease improve dual tasking when walking?

Brauer, Sandra G. and Morris, Meg E. (2010) Can people with Parkinson's disease improve dual tasking when walking?. Gait & Posture, 31 2: 229-233. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.10.011

Author Brauer, Sandra G.
Morris, Meg E.
Title Can people with Parkinson's disease improve dual tasking when walking?
Journal name Gait & Posture   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0966-6362
Publication date 2010-02
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2009.10.011
Volume 31
Issue 2
Start page 229
End page 233
Total pages 5
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier BV
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
110317 Physiotherapy
920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
Formatted abstract
Gait disorders in people with Parkinson's disease (PD) are accentuated when they perform another task simultaneously. This study examines whether practice enables people with PD to walk with large steps while performing added tasks, and to determine if training people with PD to walk with added working memory tasks leads to improvements in gait when walking and performing other tasks simultaneously.

Walking patterns were recorded pre and post a 20 min dual task training session in 20 people with PD. Participants performed a series of 10 m walking trials under seven conditions: gait only, and with six different added tasks varying by task type (e.g. motor, cognitive), domain (e.g. postural, manual manipulation, language, calculation, auditory, visuospatial), and difficulty level. Dual task training aimed to improve step length while simultaneously undertaking a variety of language and counting working memory tasks that were different to those used in assessment.

Following training, step length increased when performing five of the six added tasks, indicating transfer of dual task training when walking occurred across task types and domains. Improvements in gait speed occurred in three of the six added tasks. When other gait variables were examined, such as step length variability, few improvements with training were found.

Training can lead to larger steps when walking under dual task conditions in people with PD. The gait variable emphasised during dual task training appears to be an important factor in enabling the transfer of training improvements across tasks.
Copyright © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keyword Parkinson's disease
Gait disorders
Dual task
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Available online 6 December 2009.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 36 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 07 Mar 2010, 00:04:39 EST