A quantitative analysis of gait patterns in vestibular neuritis patients using gyroscope sensor and a continuous walking protocol.

Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation

PubMedID: 24725764

Kim SC, Kim JY, Lee HN, Lee HH, Kwon JH, Kim NB, Kim MJ, Hwang JH, Han GC. A quantitative analysis of gait patterns in vestibular neuritis patients using gyroscope sensor and a continuous walking protocol. J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2014;11(1):58.
BACKGROUND
Locomotion involves an integration of vision, proprioception, and vestibular information. The parieto-insular vestibular cortex is known to affect the supra-spinal rhythm generators, and the vestibular system regulates anti-gravity muscle tone of the lower leg in the same side to maintain an upright posture through the extra-pyramidal track. To demonstrate the relationship between locomotion and vestibular function, we evaluated the differences in gait patterns between vestibular neuritis (VN) patients and normal subjects using a gyroscope sensor and long-way walking protocol.

METHODS
Gyroscope sensors were attached to both shanks of healthy controls (n=10) and age-matched VN patients (n = 10). We then asked the participants to walk 88.8 m along a corridor. Through the summation of gait cycle data, we measured gait frequency (Hz), normalized angular velocity (NAV) of each axis for legs, maximum and minimum NAV, up-slope and down-slope of NAV in swing phase, stride-swing-stance time (s), and stance to stride ratio (%).

RESULTS
The most dominant walking frequency in the VN group was not different compared to normal control. The NAVs of z-axis (pitch motion) were significantly larger than the others (x-, y-axis) and the values in VN patients tended to decrease in both legs and the difference of NAV between both group was significant in the ipsi-lesion side in the VN group only (p=0.03). Additionally, the gait velocity of these individuals was decreased relatively to controls (1.11 +/- 0.120 and 0.84 +/- 0.061 m/s in control and VN group respectively, p<0.01), which seems to be related to the significantly increased stance and stride time of the ipsi-lesion side. Moreover, in the VN group, the maximum NAV of the lesion side was less, and the minimum one was higher than control group. Furthermore, the down-slope and up-slope of NAV decreased on the impaired side.

CONCLUSION
The walking pattern of VN patients was highly phase-dependent, and NAV of pitch motion was significantly decreased in the ipsi-lesion side. The change of gait rhythm, stance and stride time, and maximum / minimum NAV of the ipsi-lesion side were characteristics of individuals with VN.