Planned stopping in people with Parkinson Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of this study was to quantify gait termination in people with Parkinson (PwP) as the basis for understanding the underlying pathophysiology of stopping difficulties. Fourteen PwP and 14 age- and gender-matched comparisons completed five trials each of four walking tasks: preferred walk, preferred walk with secondary motor task, coming to a planned stop, and planned stop with a secondary motor task. Spatio-temporal data of walks were compared to steady state walking in stopping trials. Results showed that PwP walked with shorter step length, slower speed, yet similar cadence to comparisons. Both groups decreased step length and step speed when performing a secondary task. Neither group showed changes of gait characteristics in steady state walking prior to stopping. For stopping trials, the number of steps, time, and distance taken to stop were compared for PwP and controls. In planned stops PwP used more steps and took a longer time to stop, but both groups stopped within a similar distance. A secondary motor task did not alter stopping distance or number of steps to stop, but stopping time increased in the comparisons. The results indicate that central control mechanisms regulating planned stopping appear to be intact in people with mild to moderate Parkinson.


publication date

  • March 2010