Anticipatory Postural Adjustment During Self-Initiated, Cued, and Compensatory Stepping in Healthy Older Adults and Patients With Parkinson Disease

Christian Schlenstedt, Martina Mancini, Fay Horak, Daniel Peterson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    34 Scopus citations


    Objective To characterize anticipatory postural adjustments (APAs) across a variety of step initiation tasks in people with Parkinson disease (PD) and healthy subjects. Design Cross-sectional study. Step initiation was analyzed during self-initiated gait, perceptual cued gait, and compensatory forward stepping after platform perturbation. People with PD were assessed on and off levodopa. Setting University research laboratory. Participants People (N=31) with PD (n=19) and healthy aged-matched subjects (n=12). Interventions Not applicable. Main Outcome Measures Mediolateral (ML) size of APAs (calculated from center of pressure recordings), step kinematics, and body alignment. Results With respect to self-initiated gait, the ML size of APAs was significantly larger during the cued condition and significantly smaller during the compensatory condition (P<.001). Healthy subjects and patients with PD did not differ in body alignment during the stance phase prior to stepping. No significant group effect was found for ML size of APAs between healthy subjects and patients with PD. However, the reduction in APA size from cued to compensatory stepping was significantly less pronounced in PD off medication compared with healthy subjects, as indicated by a significant group by condition interaction effect (P<.01). No significant differences were found comparing patients with PD on and off medications. Conclusions Specific stepping conditions had a significant effect on the preparation and execution of step initiation. Therefore, APA size should be interpreted with respect to the specific stepping condition. Across-task changes in people with PD were less pronounced compared with healthy subjects. Antiparkinsonian medication did not significantly improve step initiation in this mildly affected PD cohort.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1316-1324.e1
    JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
    Issue number7
    StatePublished - Jul 2017


    • Cues
    • Exercise
    • Movement disorders
    • Neurological rehabilitation
    • Parkinson disease
    • Posture
    • Rehabilitation

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
    • Rehabilitation


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