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Effects of aging and cognitive performance on foot placement adaptability during walking

Grant number: 13/18064-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): December 10, 2013
Effective date (End): May 09, 2014
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physical Education
Principal Investigator:Lilian Teresa Bucken Gobbi
Grantee:Paulo Henrique Silva Pelicioni
Supervisor: Stephen Lord
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências (IB). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Rio Claro. Rio Claro , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of New South Wales (UNSW), Australia  
Associated to the scholarship:12/20498-0 - Impact of Parkinsons disease on kinect and kinematic features of the sit to walk task in fallers and non fallers, BP.MS


In the course of aging, some declines remarkably impair walking and balance. Referring to walking, aging can play an important role on gait kinematics changes that are caused by two main aspects: impairment on physical capacity and cognitive decline. Therefore, to achieve a higher performance during motor taks, these both conditions need to be fine. This is particularly true when subjects need to choose the foot placement spot after obstacles crossing. Situations involving foot placement selection are constantly done during day-life. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the ageing effects on stepping choice during obstacle avoidance, mainly with time constraints. Then, the aims of this study are: (i) to compare the foot placement adaptability related to stepping response accuracy during walking of young and elderly people; and (ii) to assess in which extent the foot placement adaptability measures are correlated with standard neuropsychological and sensorimotor measures. Thirty subjects of both genders will participate in this study and will be assigned into two groups: 15 elderly (EG) and 15 young (YG) individuals. Sensorimotor and neuropsychological variables will be assessed through the following tests: Physiological Profile Assessment, Stroop Color-Word Test and Trail Making Test. In order to assess the foot placement adaptability during gait, a test of easy access, handling and transport will be done. For the test protocol, participants will be walk on a pathway with the self-selected speed. During some trials an unexpected squared target (23cm x 23cm) will be projected on the floor and the participant will be asked to avoid or to step onto it, according to its color. The foot placement adaptability will be assessed by the following measures: the number of correct and incorrect stepping responses and kinematic (spatial and spatio-temporal) during both the stride before the target localization and the adapted step. These variables will be compared between groups using appropriate statistical analysis (p<0,05). (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
CAETANO, MARIA JOANA D.; LORD, STEPHEN R.; SCHOENE, DANIEL; PELICIONI, PAULO H. S.; STURNIEKS, DAINA L.; MENANT, JASMINE C.. Age-related changes in gait adaptability in response to unpredictable obstacles and stepping targets. GAIT & POSTURE, v. 46, p. 35-41, . (13/18064-5)

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