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Jeffrey P. Kaipust, Jessie M. Huisinga, Mary Filipi and Nicholas Stergiou

The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in gait variability between patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls during walking at a self-selected pace. Methods: Kinematics were collected during three minutes of treadmill walking for 10 patients with MS and 10 healthy controls. The Coefficient of Variation (CoV), the Approximate Entropy (ApEn) and the Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) were used to investigate the fluctuations present in stride length and step width from continuous strides. Results: ApEn revealed that patients with MS had significantly lower values than healthy controls for stride length (p < .001) and step width (p < .001). Conclusions: ApEn results revealed that the natural fluctuations present during gait in the stride length and step width time series are more regular and repeatable in patients with MS. These changes implied that patients with MS may exhibit reduced capacity to adapt and respond to perturbations during gait.

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Dylan Kobsar, Chad Olson, Raman Paranjape and John M. Barden

A single triaxial accelerometer has the ability to collect a large amount of continuous gait data to quantitatively assess the control of gait. Unfortunately, there is limited information on the validity of gait variability and fractal dynamics obtained from this device. The purpose of this study was to test the concurrent validity of the variability and fractal dynamic measures of gait provided by a triaxial accelerometer during a continuous 10 minute walk in older adults. Forty-one healthy older adults were fitted with a single triaxial accelerometer at the waist, as well as a criterion footswitch device before completing a ten minute overground walk. The concurrent validity of six outcome measures was examined using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and 95% limits of agreement. All six dependent variables measured by the accelerometer displayed excellent agreement with the footswitch device. Mean parameters displayed the highest validity, followed by measures of variability and fractal dynamics in stride times and measures of variability and fractal dynamics in step times. These findings suggest that an accelerometer is a valid and unique device that has the potential to provide clinicians with valid quantitative data for assessing their clients’ gait.

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Dennis Hamacher, Daniel Hamacher, Kathrin Rehfeld, Anita Hökelmann and Lutz Schega

Dancing is a complex sensorimotor activity involving physical and mental elements which have positive effects on cognitive functions and motor control. The present randomized controlled trial aims to analyze the effects of a dancing program on the performance on a motorcognitive dual task. Data of 35 older adults, who were assigned to a dancing group or a health-related exercise group, are presented in the study. In pretest and posttest, we assessed cognitive performance and variability of minimum foot clearance, stride time, and stride length while walking. Regarding the cognitive performance and the stride-to-stride variability of minimum foot clearance, interaction effects have been found, indicating that dancing lowers gait variability to a higher extent than conventional health-related exercise. The data show that dancing improves minimum foot clearance variability and cognitive performance in a dual-task situation. Multi-task exercises (like dancing) might be a powerful tool to improve motor-cognitive dual-task performance.

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Daniel Hamacher, Dennis Hamacher, Roy Müller, Lutz Schega and Astrid Zech

frequently analyzed to gauge sensorimotor gait control. Both extremely low and high gait variability is characteristic of impaired sensorimotor control mechanisms ( Singh, Konig, Arampatzis, Heller, & Taylor, 2012 ). However, next to the variability of consecutive stride times or stride lengths, the

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Lauren A. Brown, Eric E. Hall, Caroline J. Ketcham, Kirtida Patel, Thomas A. Buckley, David R. Howell and Srikant Vallabhajosula

studies are limited. However, turning gait variability has been examined in other populations. For example, a recent study used similar instrumentation and showed that older adults who experienced more than 1 fall in the previous 12 months took significantly longer time to turn, turned slower, and took

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Philippe Terrier and Fabienne Reynard

Local dynamic stability (stability) quantifies how a system responds to small perturbations. Several experimental and clinical findings have highlighted the association between gait stability and fall risk. Walking without shoes is known to slightly modify gait parameters. Barefoot walking may cause unusual sensory feedback to individuals accustomed to shod walking, and this may affect stability. The objective was therefore to compare the stability of shod and barefoot walking in healthy individuals and to analyze the intrasession repeatability. Forty participants traversed a 70 m indoor corridor wearing normal shoes in one trial and walking barefoot in a second trial. Trunk accelerations were recorded with a 3D-accelerometer attached to the lower back. The stability was computed using the finite-time maximal Lyapunov exponent method. Absolute agreement between the forward and backward paths was estimated with the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Barefoot walking did not significantly modify the stability as compared with shod walking (average standardized effect size: +0.11). The intrasession repeatability was high (ICC: 0.73–0.81) and slightly higher in barefoot walking condition (ICC: 0.81–0.87). Therefore, it seems that barefoot walking can be used to evaluate stability without introducing a bias as compared with shod walking, and with a sufficient reliability.

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Yun Wang and Kazuhiko Watanabe

The notion of limb dominance has been commonly used in the upper extremity, yet the two lower extremities are often treated as equal for analytical purposes. Attempts to determine the effects of limb laterality on gait have produced conflicting results. The purpose of this study was to determine if limb dominance affects the vertical ground reaction force and center of pressure (COP) during able-bodied gait. The Parotec system (Paromed GmbH, Germany) was used to collect plantar foot pressure data. Fifteen subjects volunteered to participate in this study. The coefficient of variation of the COP displacement in the mediolateral direction and the variability of peak force beneath the lateral forefoot in the nondominant foot were significant greater than in the dominant foot. Moreover, COP velocity in the anterior-posterior direction during the terminal stance phase showed greater value in the dominant foot. Our study provides support for limb laterality by showing limb dominance affected the vertical ground reaction force and center of pressure during walking gait. This finding suggests it is an important issue in movement science for clinicians and would assist in improving sports performance and rehabilitation program.

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Erin Smith, Tara Cusack, Caitriona Cunningham and Catherine Blake

increases with dual task. Effect of Dual Task on Gait Variability Six studies examined the effect of a dual task on stride time variability measured as the coefficient of variability (CV) expressed as a percent of stride time (Figure  7 ). The mean CV stride time (%) was 2.06 (0.64) under single

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Scott W. Ducharme and Richard E.A. van Emmerik

.1016/j.gaitpost.2006.08.010 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2006.08.010 Kang , H.G. , & Dingwell , J.B. ( 2008 ). Separating the effects of age and walking speed on gait variability . Gait & Posture, 27 , 572 – 577 . PubMed doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2007.07.009 10.1016/j.gaitpost.2007.07.009 Latash , M

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Daniel M. Grindle, Lauren Baker, Mike Furr, Tim Puterio, Brian Knarr and Jill Higginson

2.3° during the math task. Even though there were statistically significant changes in numerous gait variables, all were within the range of normal gait variability. 15 , 19 – 26 Furthermore, most of the gait variables of interest did not exhibit any statistically significant changes from the