People with Parkinson disease demonstrate increased gait variability, but the primary variability sources are poorly understood. People with Parkinson disease and freezing of gait (freezers) have greater gait impairments than people with Parkinson disease without freezing of gait (nonfreezers), which may relate to cerebellar dysfunction. Thirteen freezers and 31 nonfreezers completed backward, forward, and forward with dual task gait trials. Sagittal joint angle waveforms were extracted for the hip, knee, and ankle using 3D motion capture. Decomposition indices were calculated for the 3 joint combinations. Principal component analysis extracted variance sources from the joint waveforms. Freezers had significantly greater decomposition between hip–ankle (F1,42 = 5.1, P = .03) and hip–knee (F1,42 = 5.3, P = .03) movements. The principal component analysis did not differentiate freezers and nonfreezers; however, primary variance sources differed between conditions. Primary variance during forward and forward with dual task gait came from joint angle magnitude and peak angle timing. Backward gait showed primary variance from joint angle magnitude and range of motion. The results show that freezers decompose movement more than nonfreezers, implicating cerebellar involvement in freezing of gait. Primary variance differs between gait conditions, and tailoring gait interventions to address variability sources may improve intervention efficacy.
- Gait mechanics
- Principal component analysis