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Kinesiology & Physical Education


Visual cues are known to improve gait in Parkinson’s disease (PD); however, the contribution of optic flow continues to be disputed. This study manipulated transverse line cues during two gait training interventions (6 weeks). PD subjects (N = 42) were assigned to one of three groups: treadmill (TG), overground (OG), or control group (CG). Participants walked across lines placed on either treadmills or 16-meter carpets, respectively. The treadmill (TG) offered a reduced dynamic flow from the environment, while lines presented on the ground (OG) emphasized optic flow related to the participant’s own displacement. Both interventions significantly improved (and maintained through retention period) step length, thus improving walking velocity. Only the OG improved in the TUG test, while only the TG showed hints of improving (and maintaining) motor symptoms. Since gait improvements were found in both training groups, we conclude that by reducing optic flow, gait benefits associated with visual cueing training can still be achieved.


This article was originally published in Parkinson’s Disease, 2012: Article ID 5087220. © 2012 The Authors