Recurrence quantification analysis of human postural fluctuations in older fallers and non-fallers

Sofiane Ramdani, Guillaume Tallon, Pierre Louis Bernard, Hubert Blain
Annals of Biomedical Engineering 2013, 41 (8): 1713-25
We investigate postural sway data dynamics in older adult fallers and non-fallers. Center of pressure (COP) signals were recorded during quiet standing in 28 older adults. The subjects were divided in two groups: with and without history of falls. COP time series were analyzed using recurrence quantification analysis (RQA) in both anteroposterior and mediolateral (ML) directions. Classical stabilometric variables (path length and range) were also computed. The results showed that RQA outputs quantifying predictability of COP fluctuations and Shannon entropy of recurrence plot diagonal line length distribution, were significantly higher in fallers, only for ML direction. In addition, the range of ML COP signals was also significantly higher in fallers. This result is in accordance with some findings of the literature and could be interpreted as an increased hip strategy in fallers. The RQA results seem coherent with the theory of loss of complexity with aging and disease. Our results suggest that RQA is a promising approach for the investigation of COP fluctuations in a frail population.

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