This Research Topic is part of a series with:Use of Computerized Gait Analysis in Neurological Pathologies: Volume I
One of the main common features shared by many neurological pathologies is gait alteration, which encompasses speed reduction, symmetry variation, step cycle synchrony, and loss of strength.
Usually, to assess postural and walking damage in neurological pathologies, the patient's medical history is examined, and an objective instrumental human movement analysis is performed. This analysis includes the quantitative evaluation of the aspects of walking and associated neurological signs.
The development of computerized gait analysis in the last 25 years has made it possible to analyze, in an objective manner, different aspects of gait such as: joint rotations of the ankle, knee, and hip; electrical activity of muscles of the lower or upper limbs; forces produced by the different muscular groups ("moments" and joint powers); and three-dimensional movement of the body centre of gravity. All these parameters are strongly indicative of possible balance disturbances during walking.
The use of this non-invasive technology allows an objective evaluation of individual improvements during the disease progression, as well as throughout rehabilitation processes and under medical treatments. Comparable values and scores can be collected as useful indicators by the health team that oversees the patient, providing a deeper insight into the walking deficits, and more information on how compensation phenomena and/or recovery are evolving. This objective assessment can lead to an improvement in the efficacy of a targeted rehabilitation process of the subject affected by the neurological pathology.
Moreover, in recent years, the central neurophysiological mechanisms underlying gait control in normal and pathological conditions have gained increasing interest, and many papers have been published aiming at elucidating the brain-muscle connectivity underlying the motor control of gait. These studies are helping to shine some light on how neurological diseases (i.e. Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, etc.) can modify the central guidance of gait and how different rehabilitative approaches are able to restore the physiological gait pattern.
This Research Topic aims to collect papers that explore the impact of neurological diseases on gait function and the state-of-the-art technological approaches currently used to study it.
We welcome manuscripts that address the following topics:
- Identification of the best methods of analysis for each specific neurological condition;
- Studies focusing on brain-muscle connectivity able to clarify some aspects of the central drive of gait;
- Studies on the evolution of pathologies over time, monitored and evaluated with gait analysis;
- Use of innovative technological approaches for improving prognostic studies on the evolution of neurological diseases applied to identify specific characteristics of walking.