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Journal Article

Citation

Caliandro P, Conte C, Iacovelli C, Tatarelli A, Castiglia SF, Reale G, Serrao M. Sensors (Basel) 2019; 19(24): s19245571.

Affiliation

Policlinico Italia, Movement Analysis Laboratory, Piazza del Campidano, 6, 00162 Rome, Italy.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, MDPI: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)

DOI

10.3390/s19245571

PMID

31861099

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Patients suffering from cerebellar ataxia have extremely variable gait kinematic features. We investigated whether and how wearable inertial sensors can describe the gait kinematic features among ataxic patients.

METHODS: We enrolled 17 patients and 16 matched control subjects. We acquired data by means of an inertial sensor attached to an ergonomic belt around pelvis, which was connected to a portable computer via Bluetooth. Recordings of all the patients were obtained during overground walking. From the accelerometric data, we obtained the harmonic ratio (HR), i.e., a measure of the acceleration patterns, smoothness and rhythm, and the step length coefficient of variation (CV), which evaluates the variability of the gait cycle.

RESULTS: Compared to controls, patients had a lower HR, meaning a less harmonic and rhythmic acceleration pattern of the trunk, and a higher step length CV, indicating a more variable step length. Both HR and step length CV showed a high effect size in distinguishing patients and controls (p < 0.001 and p = 0.011, respectively). A positive correlation was found between the step length CV and both the number of falls (R = 0.672; p = 0.003) and the clinical severity (ICARS: R = 0.494; p = 0.044; SARA: R = 0.680; p = 0.003).

CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrate that the use of inertial sensors is effective in evaluating gait and balance impairment among ataxic patients.


Language: en

Keywords

balance; cerebellar ataxia; gait analysis; inertial sensors; movement analysis; personalized medicine; rehabilitation

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