Similarities and Differences of Gait Patterns in Women and Men With Parkinson Disease With Mild Disability



      This study aimed to quantitatively investigate the existence of differences in spatiotemporal and kinematic parameters of gait in men and women with Parkinson disease (PD) using computerized 3-dimensional gait analysis.


      Retrospective cohort study.


      Laboratory of Biomechanics.


      Individuals with PD (N=35; 17 female, 18 male) of mean age 70.7 years characterized by mild disability (Hoehn and Yahr ≤2.5) who were tested in On medication state approximately 60 to 90 minutes after intake of the usual morning Levodopa dose.


      Not applicable.

      Main Outcome Measures

      Spatiotemporal parameters of gait (speed, stride length, cadence, step width, duration of stance, swing, double support phases) and kinematics of hip, knee, and ankle joints in the sagittal plane.


      Men and women exhibit similar spatiotemporal parameters, except for step width (wider in men). In contrast, relevant differences were found in terms of ankle kinematics. In particular, women presented increased ankle dorsiflexion through all the stance phase and mid to late swing phase, and reduced plantarflexion at the stance-swing phase transition.


      Gait patterns of men and women with PD with mild disability are similar in terms of spatiotemporal parameters but characterized by marked differences regarding the ankle kinematics on the sagittal plane. The findings of the present study support the concept that investigations seeking to clarify the complex pathophysiology of PD-related gait disturbances should consider the role played by an individual's sex, thereby achieving more effective designing of physical and rehabilitative treatments.


      List of abbreviations:

      ANOVA (analysis of variance), MANOVA (multivariate analysis of variance), PD (Parkinson disease), ROM (range of motion)
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