Sudden stopping in patients with cerebellar ataxia

Mariano Serrao, Carmela Conte, Carlo Casali, Alberto Ranavolo, Silvia Mari, Roberto Di Fabio, Armando Perrotta, Gianluca Coppola, Luca Padua, Stefano Monamì, Giorgio Sandrini, Francesco Pierelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Stopping during walking, a dynamic motor task frequent in everyday life, is very challenging for ataxic patients, as it reduces their gait stability and increases the incidence of falls. This study was conducted to analyse the biomechanical characteristics of upper and lower body segments during abrupt stopping in ataxic patients in order to identify possible strategies used to counteract the instability in the sagittal and frontal plane. Twelve patients with primary degenerative cerebellar ataxia and 12 age- and sexmatched healthy subjects were studied. Time-distance parameters, dynamic stability of the centre of mass, upper body measures and lower joint kinematic and kinetic parameters were analysed. The results indicate that ataxic patients have a great difficulty in stopping abruptly during walking and adopt a multi-step stopping strategy, occasionally with feet parallel, to compensate for their inability to coordinate the upper body and to generate a wellcoordinated lower limb joint flexor-extensor pattern and appropriate braking forces for progressively decelerating the progression of the body in the sagittal plane. A specific rehabilitation treatment designed to improve the ability of ataxic patients to transform unplanned stopping into planned stopping, to coordinate upper body and to execute an effective flexion-extension pattern of the hip and knee joints may be useful in these patients in order to improve their stopping performance and prevent falls.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-616
Number of pages10
JournalCerebellum
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013

Keywords

  • Cerebellar ataxia
  • Gait termination
  • Stopping

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sudden stopping in patients with cerebellar ataxia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this