What is it about?

Human gait is an important skill in every-day live. It provides the mobility needed to connect with friends and relatives, engage in physical activity, or simply go shopping. In people with Parkinson’s disease, reduced walking speed impairs their mobility, and instabilities can lead to falls. Can we identify how gait abnormalities relate to alterations in the diseased brain to ultimately find better treatment options and improve patients’ lives?

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Why is it important?

Our research shows that especially the rhythmic organization of the gait cycle seems to be highly relevant and may represent a valuable marker to aid the clinical diagnosis. Combining biomechanical gait analyses with magnetic resonance imaging, we highlight the relationship of the rhythmic organization with alterations in the microstructural integrity of a small midbrain structure. This can assist researchers and clinicians in developing new and refining existing models and interventions to target symptom management.

Perspectives

When working with patients, one quickly realizes how precious every-day skills that we take for granted are for our well-being. We wanted to learn more about walking impairments and their relationship to the brain and hope that this works’ findings can contribute to help others in staying mobile and active.

Manuel Bange
University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Gait Abnormalities in Parkinson’s Disease Are Associated with Extracellular Free-Water Characteristics in the Substantia Nigra, Journal of Parkinson s Disease, July 2022, IOS Press, DOI: 10.3233/jpd-223225.
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