Older adults demonstrate interlimb transfer of reactive gait adaptations to repeated unpredictable gait perturbations

Journal article


McCrum, C., Karamanidis, K., Grevendonk, L., Zijlstra, W. and Meijar, K. (2019). Older adults demonstrate interlimb transfer of reactive gait adaptations to repeated unpredictable gait perturbations. GeroScience.
AuthorsMcCrum, C., Karamanidis, K., Grevendonk, L., Zijlstra, W. and Meijar, K.
Abstract

The ability to rapidly adjust gait to cope with unexpected mechanical perturbations declines with ageing. Previous studies however, have not ensured that gait stability pre-perturbation was equivalent across participants or age groups which may have influenced the outcomes. In this study, we investigate if age-related differences in stability following gait perturbations remain when all participants walk with equivalent stability. We also examine if interlimb transfer of gait adaptations are observed in healthy older adults, by examining if adaptation to repeated perturbations of one leg can benefit stability recovery when the other leg is perturbed. 30 young and 28 older healthy adults experienced ten unpredictable treadmill belt accelerations (the first and last applied to the right leg, the others to the left leg) during walking at their stability-normalised walking speeds (young: 1.32±0.07m/s; older: 1.31±0.13m/s; normalised to an average margin of stability of 0.05m). Using kinematic data, we assessed the margins of stability during unperturbed walking and the first eight post-perturbation recovery steps. Older adults required three more steps to recover during the first perturbation to each leg than the young adults. Yet, after repeated perturbations of the left leg, older adults required only one more step to recover. Interestingly, for the untrained right leg, the older adults could regain stability with three fewer steps, indicating interlimb transfer of the improvements. Age differences in reactive gait stability remain even when participants’ walk with equivalent stability. Furthermore, we show that healthy older adults can transfer improvements in balance recovery made during repeated perturbations to one limb to their recovery following a perturbation to the untrained limb.

Year2019
JournalGeroScience
ISSN2509-2723
Publication process dates
Accepted27 Nov 2019
Deposited16 Dec 2019
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
Supplemental file
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
Supplemental file
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
Supplemental file
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
Supplemental file
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
Supplemental file
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/88qyx

Accepted author manuscript


Supplemental file

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