Dynamic markers of altered gait rhythm in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Jeffrey M. Hausdorff, Apinya Lertratanakul, Merit E. Cudkowicz, Amie L. Peterson, David Kaliton, Ary L. Goldberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

390 Scopus citations


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disorder marked by loss of moteneurons. We hypothesized that subjects with ALS would have an altered gait rhythm, with an increase in both the magnitude of the stride-to-stride fluctuations and perturbations in the fluctuation dynamics. To test for this locomotor instability, we quantitatively compared the gait rhythm of subjects with ALS with that of normal controls and with that of subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD), pathologies of the basal ganglia. Subjects walked for 5 min at their usual pace wearing an ankle-worn recorder that enabled determination of the duration of each stride and of stride-to-stride fluctuations. We found that the gait of patients with ALS is less steady and more temporally disorganized compared with that of healthy controls. In addition, advanced ALS, HD, and PD were associated with certain common, as well as apparently distinct, features of altered stride dynamics. Thus stride-to-stride control of gait rhythm is apparently compromised with ALS. Moreover, a matrix of markers based on gait dynamics may be useful in characterizing certain pathologies of motor control and, possibly, in quantitatively monitoring disease progression and evaluating therapeutic interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2045-2053
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Huntington's disease
  • Motor control
  • Nervous system diseases
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Dynamic markers of altered gait rhythm in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this