Presentation Title

Improving Elderly Gait Using a Structured Auditory Stimulus

Advisor Information

Steven Harrison

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-3-2016 2:30 PM

End Date

4-3-2016 4:00 PM

Abstract

Previous studies show increased gait variability is correlated with fall risk in elderly subjects. One gait rehabilitation method is synchronizing gait to a rhythmic auditory stimulus (RAS). RAS reduces variability associated with fall risk, but does not represent stride-to-stride fluctuations found in gait of healthy individuals. Research has found that fractal structures (pink-noise) represent variability present in healthy gait. Therefore, rehabilitation using a fractal structured auditory stimulus (SAS) to restore characteristics of healthy gait could prove more effective than RAS. This experiment examines the effects of synchronized walking with SAS compared to self-paced walking, in healthy older and younger participants. We hypothesized that the gait variability of older individuals will approach values exhibited by healthy younger adults when walking is synchronized with a pink-noise SAS. Participants walked self-paced around an indoor track for 15 minutes while wearing footswitches. We used footswitch data to create a pink-noise structured version of Beethoven’s “Für Elise” to match participants’ preferred walking characteristics. Participants then repeated the 15-minute walk while synchronizing their gait to SAS. Baseline and SAS stride interval time series were analyzed to determine amount (mean and coefficient of variation) and structure (DFA α) of gait variability. Preliminary data is consistent with the expectation that baseline values for DFA α are lower for the older group than the younger group, and the older group’s DFA α increases from baseline to SAS. This result shows that gait variability of older individuals can be driven with SAS and supports the feasibility of rehabilitation using SAS.

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Mar 4th, 2:30 PM Mar 4th, 4:00 PM

Improving Elderly Gait Using a Structured Auditory Stimulus

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Previous studies show increased gait variability is correlated with fall risk in elderly subjects. One gait rehabilitation method is synchronizing gait to a rhythmic auditory stimulus (RAS). RAS reduces variability associated with fall risk, but does not represent stride-to-stride fluctuations found in gait of healthy individuals. Research has found that fractal structures (pink-noise) represent variability present in healthy gait. Therefore, rehabilitation using a fractal structured auditory stimulus (SAS) to restore characteristics of healthy gait could prove more effective than RAS. This experiment examines the effects of synchronized walking with SAS compared to self-paced walking, in healthy older and younger participants. We hypothesized that the gait variability of older individuals will approach values exhibited by healthy younger adults when walking is synchronized with a pink-noise SAS. Participants walked self-paced around an indoor track for 15 minutes while wearing footswitches. We used footswitch data to create a pink-noise structured version of Beethoven’s “Für Elise” to match participants’ preferred walking characteristics. Participants then repeated the 15-minute walk while synchronizing their gait to SAS. Baseline and SAS stride interval time series were analyzed to determine amount (mean and coefficient of variation) and structure (DFA α) of gait variability. Preliminary data is consistent with the expectation that baseline values for DFA α are lower for the older group than the younger group, and the older group’s DFA α increases from baseline to SAS. This result shows that gait variability of older individuals can be driven with SAS and supports the feasibility of rehabilitation using SAS.