Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
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The impact of anxiety on gait impairments in Parkinson's disease: insights from sensor-based gait analysis.

BACKGROUND: Sensor-based gait analysis provides a robust quantitative tool for assessing gait impairments and their associated factors in Parkinson's disease (PD). Anxiety is observed to interfere with gait clinically, but this has been poorly investigated. Our purpose is to utilize gait analysis to uncover the effect of anxiety on gait in patients with PD.

METHODS: We enrolled 38 and 106 PD patients with and without anxiety, respectively. Gait parameters were quantitively examined and compared between two groups both in single-task (ST) and dual-task (DT) walking tests. Multiple linear regression was applied to evaluate whether anxiety independently contributed to gait impairments.

RESULTS: During ST, PD patients with anxiety presented significantly shorter stride length, lower gait velocity, longer stride time and stance time, longer stance phase, smaller toe-off (TO) and heel-strike (HS) angles than those without anxiety. While under DT status, the differences were diminished. Multiple linear regression analysis demonstrated that anxiety was an independent factor to a serials of gait parameters, particularly ST-TO (B = -2.599, (-4.82, -0.38)), ST-HS (B = -2.532, (-4.71, -0.35)), ST-TO-CV (B = 4.627, (1.71, 7.64)), ST-HS-CV(B = 4.597, (1.66, 7.53)), ST stance phase (B = 1.4, (0.22, 2.58)), and DT stance phase (B = 1.749, (0.56, 2.94)).

CONCLUSION: Our study discovered that anxiety has a significant impact on gait impairments in PD patients, especially exacerbating shuffling steps and prolonging stance phase. These findings highlight the importance of addressing anxiety in PD precision therapy to achieve better treatment outcomes.

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