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Patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction compared to healthy subjects exhibit differences in gaze and gait behaviour when walking on stairs and ramps


Swanenburg, Jaap; Bäbler, Edith; Adelsberger, Rolf; Straumann, Dominik; de Bruin, Eling D (2017). Patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction compared to healthy subjects exhibit differences in gaze and gait behaviour when walking on stairs and ramps. PLoS ONE, 12(12):e0189037.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to compare gaze behaviour during stair and ramp walking between patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction and healthy human subjects. METHODS Twenty four (24) patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction (14 unilateral and 10 bilateral) and 24 healthy subjects performed stair and ramp up and down walks at self-selected speed. The walks were repeated five times. A mobile eye tracker was used to record gaze behaviour (defined as time directed to pre-defined areas) and an insole measurement device assessed gait (speed, step time, step length). During each walk gaze behaviour relative to i) detection of first transition area "First TA", ii) detection of steps of the mid-staircase area and the handrail "Structure", iii) detection of second transition area "Second TA", and iv) looking elsewhere "Elsewhere" was assessed and expressed as a percentage of the walk duration. For all variables, a one-way ANOVA followed by contrast tests was conducted. RESULTS Patients looked significantly longer at the "Structure" (p<0.001) and "Elsewhere" (p<0.001) while walking upstairs compared to walking downstairs (p<0.013). Patients looked significantly longer at the "Structure" (p<0.001) and "Elsewhere" (p<0.001) while walking upstairs compared to walking downstairs (p<0.013). No differences between groups were observed for the transition areas with exception of stair ascending. Patients were also slower going downstairs (p = 0.002) and presented with an increased step time (p = 0.003). Patients were walking faster up the ramp (p = 0.014) with longer step length (p = 0.008) compared to walking down the ramp (p = 0.050) with shorter step length (p = 0.024). CONCLUSIONS Patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction differed in time directed to pre-defined areas during stair and ramp walking and looked longer at stair and ramp areas of interest during walking compared to healthy subjects. Patients did not differ in time directed to pre-defined areas during the stair-floor transition area while going downstairs, an area where accidents may frequently occur.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to compare gaze behaviour during stair and ramp walking between patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction and healthy human subjects. METHODS Twenty four (24) patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction (14 unilateral and 10 bilateral) and 24 healthy subjects performed stair and ramp up and down walks at self-selected speed. The walks were repeated five times. A mobile eye tracker was used to record gaze behaviour (defined as time directed to pre-defined areas) and an insole measurement device assessed gait (speed, step time, step length). During each walk gaze behaviour relative to i) detection of first transition area "First TA", ii) detection of steps of the mid-staircase area and the handrail "Structure", iii) detection of second transition area "Second TA", and iv) looking elsewhere "Elsewhere" was assessed and expressed as a percentage of the walk duration. For all variables, a one-way ANOVA followed by contrast tests was conducted. RESULTS Patients looked significantly longer at the "Structure" (p<0.001) and "Elsewhere" (p<0.001) while walking upstairs compared to walking downstairs (p<0.013). Patients looked significantly longer at the "Structure" (p<0.001) and "Elsewhere" (p<0.001) while walking upstairs compared to walking downstairs (p<0.013). No differences between groups were observed for the transition areas with exception of stair ascending. Patients were also slower going downstairs (p = 0.002) and presented with an increased step time (p = 0.003). Patients were walking faster up the ramp (p = 0.014) with longer step length (p = 0.008) compared to walking down the ramp (p = 0.050) with shorter step length (p = 0.024). CONCLUSIONS Patients with chronic peripheral vestibular hypofunction differed in time directed to pre-defined areas during stair and ramp walking and looked longer at stair and ramp areas of interest during walking compared to healthy subjects. Patients did not differ in time directed to pre-defined areas during the stair-floor transition area while going downstairs, an area where accidents may frequently occur.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:12 Jan 2018 12:53
Last Modified:12 Jan 2018 12:59
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0189037
PubMed ID:29253883

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