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This study explored the functional movement task of stepping up and over an obstacle in individuals with Parkinson’s disease to their aged-matched controls. Ten participants with Parkinson’s disease and 10 aged matched participants were assessed on the Step Up/Over task completed on a NeuroCom EquiTest long force-plate and analyzed using Group MANOVAs. The results indicate that individuals with Parkinson’s disease produce less lifting force and exhibited an increased time to complete the task of stepping up and over an object when compared with their aged matched peers. Considering the substantial risk of falls demonstrated in this population these preliminary finding demonstrate the need for interventions aimed at improving this component of function.
Joe Nocera is with the University of Florida, Department of Applied Physiology and Kinesiology in Gainesville. Michael Horvat is with the Kinesiology Department at the University of Georgia in Athens. Christopher Ray is with the Kinesiology Department at the University of Texas at Arlington.