Control of dynamic stability during gait termination on a slippery surface in Parkinson's disease

Alison R. Oates, Jim S. Frank, Aftab E. Patla, Karen VanOoteghem, Fay B. Horak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study investigated how Parkinson's disease (PD) affects the ability to switch from locomotion to gait termination (GT) during planned and cued GT and examined the effect of PD on the integration of a reactive, balance maintenance strategy into voluntary GT. After a series of stops on a stable surface, eight participants with and 10 without PD stopped on a surface, which slid quickly and unexpectedly forward mimicking a slippery surface. PD caused instability during the completely voluntary nonslippery stops (P = 0.012) but not during the slippery stops, which required a reactive movement. The PD group walked slower [0.9-1.0 m/s vs. 1.3 m/s, respectively (P < 0.001)] with shorter steps during the first step of nonslippery GT (P = 0.016) and with wider steps during all steps of nonslippery GT (P ≤ 0.05). Similar to controls, the PD group increased lateral stability during planned GT compared to cued GT (P = 0.007). The timing of gait termination was similar between groups in all conditions. During the unexpected perturbation, both groups used a generalized slip response to regain balance after the perturbation. PD did not affect the ability to stop walking or to integrate a balance-correcting response into GT but did affect movement speed, size, and stability of the voluntary movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1977-1983
Number of pages7
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number14
StatePublished - Oct 30 2008


  • Gait termination
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Slip
  • Stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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