Fractal dynamics of body motion in patients with Parkinson's disease

Masaki Sekine, Metin Akay, Toshiyo Tamura, Yuji Higashi, Toshiro Fujimoto
Journal of Neural Engineering 2004, 1 (1): 8-15
In this paper, we assess the complexity (fractal measure) of body motion during walking in patients with Parkinson's disease. The body motion of 11 patients with Parkinson's disease and 10 healthy elderly subjects was recorded using a triaxial accelerometry technique. A triaxial accelerometer was attached to the lumbar region. An assessment of the complexity of body motion was made using a maximum-likelihood-estimator-based fractal analysis method. Our data suggest that the fractal measures of the body motion of patients with Parkinson's disease are higher than those of healthy elderly subjects. These results were statistically different in the X (anteroposterior), Y (lateral) and Z (vertical) directions of body motion between patients with Parkinson's disease and the healthy elderly subjects (p < 0.01 in X and Z directions and p < 0.05 in Y direction). The complexity (fractal measure) of body motion can be useful to assess and monitor the output from the motor system during walking in clinical practice.

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