Postural instability in subjects with Parkinson's disease undergoing different sensory pitfalls

Thaís Cardoso Da Silva, Lilian Assunção Felippe, Rodrigo Luiz Carregaro, Gustavo Christofoletti*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose. Previous research has reported postural instability in subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, there are still doubts about the effect of sensory stimuli on one's balance. In this study, we further investigated the stabilometric measures of individuals with PD, analysing the impact of different sensory stimuli on the outcomes. Methods. The total of 26 participants (13 with PD and 13 matched control peers) were submitted to 8 sensorimotor dynamics differing in relation to support base (30 cm vs. 10 cm, feet in parallel vs. feet in semi-Tandem position), contact surface (foam vs. no foam), and visual conditions (eyes open vs. eyes closed). The measures used to assess one's balance were body position in space, area of support base, and velocity of postural control. The variables involved the anterior-posterior and the mediolateral axes. Participants with PD were evaluated during the off medication state. Mann-Whitney U test and Friedman's test were applied to carry out inter-and intra-group comparisons. Significance was set at 5%. Results. Cross-sectional analyses illustrated that tasks with sensory pitfalls impacted postural stability to a larger extent in PD subjects. The differences were found in anterior-posterior body position, area of support base, anterior-posterior velocity, and mediolateral velocity. Complementary analyses confirmed considerable instability on balance when support bases were small and visual information was absent (p < 0.05). Conclusions. The current results confirm worse postural stability response in subjects with PD and highlight that the interference of the sensory pitfalls is notable when individuals are off medication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-60
Number of pages6
JournalHuman Movement
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • balance
  • Parkinson's disease
  • postural stability
  • stabilometry


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