Presentation Title

Acute Improvements in elderly gait with a structured auditory stimulus

Advisor Information

Sara Myers

Location

Milo Bail Student Center Omaha Room

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

8-3-2013 3:00 PM

End Date

8-3-2013 3:15 PM

Abstract

Falls among older adults are very common, with one in every three adults over the age of sixty-five experiencing a fall every year. Many factors contribute to falling, including medication, orthopedic injury, neurological dysfunction, and others. One strong indicator that a person may fall which provides a global view of walking health is walking variability. Healthy human walking contains an optimal level of variability that can be measured using nonlinear tools to analyze predictability and how walking evolves over time. Aging can lead to changes in walking variability, tending towards becoming more random and less predictable than optimal. These changes can negatively affect a person’s ability to adapt to changes in the environment and increase risk of falling. One way to influence the variability of how someone walks is through listening to a structured auditory stimulus such as music with a specifically designed rhythm. As a pilot study in influencing variability in older adults during normal overground walking, custom music files were generated for two older adults based upon Beethoven’s classic Für Elise using each subject’s own stride times as the basis for the song’s tempo. The rhythm was altered by overlaying pink noise on the metronomic tempo, shifting the variability of the rhythm to mimic that found in healthy walking. Though statistical analysis cannot yet be performed on such a small sample size, it appears that walking while listening to this specially designed music holds promise as a method to restore healthy levels of variability in walking.

Comments

Winner of Meritorious Graduate Oral Presentation

This document is currently not available here.

COinS
 
Mar 8th, 3:00 PM Mar 8th, 3:15 PM

Acute Improvements in elderly gait with a structured auditory stimulus

Milo Bail Student Center Omaha Room

Falls among older adults are very common, with one in every three adults over the age of sixty-five experiencing a fall every year. Many factors contribute to falling, including medication, orthopedic injury, neurological dysfunction, and others. One strong indicator that a person may fall which provides a global view of walking health is walking variability. Healthy human walking contains an optimal level of variability that can be measured using nonlinear tools to analyze predictability and how walking evolves over time. Aging can lead to changes in walking variability, tending towards becoming more random and less predictable than optimal. These changes can negatively affect a person’s ability to adapt to changes in the environment and increase risk of falling. One way to influence the variability of how someone walks is through listening to a structured auditory stimulus such as music with a specifically designed rhythm. As a pilot study in influencing variability in older adults during normal overground walking, custom music files were generated for two older adults based upon Beethoven’s classic Für Elise using each subject’s own stride times as the basis for the song’s tempo. The rhythm was altered by overlaying pink noise on the metronomic tempo, shifting the variability of the rhythm to mimic that found in healthy walking. Though statistical analysis cannot yet be performed on such a small sample size, it appears that walking while listening to this specially designed music holds promise as a method to restore healthy levels of variability in walking.