Spatiotemporal and kinematic aspects of obstacle avoidance in subjects with Down syndrome

Sara Laura Vimercati, Manuela Galli, Chiara Rigoldi, Andrea Ancillao, Giorgio Albertini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obstacle avoidance studies have been extensively performed in normally developed subjects (N), but little work has been done on the characterization of this task in subjects with Down syndrome (DS). The aim of this study was to describe the management of walking with obstacle avoidance in adults with DS and in agematched N subjects, considering both the lower and upper limbs. Ten subjects with DS and 16 N subjects were evaluated. The subjects walked along a walkway in two conditions: level, unobstructed walking and walking with an obstacle. The tasks were acquired using three-dimensional quantitative movement analysis. Spatiotemporal and kinematic parameters for the trunk, upper limbs and lower limbs were analyzed. The results demonstrated that the presence of a destabilizing element, the obstacle, enhanced different motor strategies in DS compared with N subjects, as shown by the parameters of the lower limbs, with a stabilization and safety strategy adopted at the upper limbs in DS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-237
Number of pages7
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Down syndrome
  • Motion analysis
  • Motor strategy
  • Obstacle avoidance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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