The fractal dimension approach in posture: a comparison between Down and Prader-Willi syndrome patients

Veronica Cimolin, Manuela Galli, Chiara Rigoldi, Graziano Grugni, Luca Vismara, Shirley Aparecida Fabris de Souza, Luca Mainardi, Giorgio Albertini, Paolo Capodaglio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The suitability of new dynamic system analysis was investigated to compare postural control in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and Down syndrome (DS) patients. Time-domain, frequency-domain parameters and fractal dimension (FD) of centre of pressure (CoP) were computed in maintaining normal standing on a force platform in 20 DS and 13 PWS patients, compared to 26 obese (obese control group, OCG) and 20 healthy individuals (healthy control group, HCG). DS and PWS showed greater displacements along both directions and longer sway path (SP) parameter than HCG and OCG, with statistical differences between PWS and DS for anteroposterior displacement and SP. DS used higher frequency strategy when compared to PWS, OCG and HCG. Both DS and PWS were characterised by greater values of FD than OCG and HCG, with higher values in DS. The analyses in frequency domain and of the dynamic nature of CoP suggest that DS patients are characterised by a more complex and irregular signal than PWS patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1541
Number of pages7
JournalComputer Methods in Biomechanics and Biomedical Engineering
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • centre of pressure
  • Down syndrome
  • fractal dimension analysis
  • posture evaluation
  • Prader-Willi syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Human-Computer Interaction

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