Rhythm Perturbations in Acoustically Paced Treadmill Walking After Stroke

M. Roerdink, C.J.C. Lamoth, J. van Kordelaar, P. Elich, M. Konijnenbelt, G. Kwakkel, P.J. Beek

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    Background. In rehabilitation, acoustic rhythms are often used to improve gait after stroke. Acoustic cueing may enhance gait coordination by creating a stable coupling between heel strikes and metronome beats and provide a means to train the adaptability of gait coordination to environmental changes, as required in everyday life ambulation. Objective. To examine the stability and adaptability of auditoryĝ€"motor synchronization in acoustically paced treadmill walking in stroke patients. Methods. Eleven stroke patients and 10 healthy controls walked on a treadmill at preferred speed and cadence under no metronome, single-metronome (pacing only paretic or nonparetic steps), and double-metronome (pacing both footfalls) conditions. The stability of auditoryĝ€"motor synchronization was quantified by the variability of the phase relation between footfalls and beats. In a separate session, the acoustic rhythms were perturbed and adaptations to restore auditoryĝ€"motor synchronization were quantified. Results. For both groups, auditoryĝ€"motor synchronization was more stable for double-metronome than single-metronome conditions, with stroke patients exhibiting an overall weaker coupling of footfalls to metronome beats than controls. The recovery characteristics following rhythm perturbations corroborated the stability findings and further revealed that stroke patients had difficulty in accelerating their steps and instead preferred a slower-step response to restore synchronization. Conclusions. In gait rehabilitation practice, the use of acoustic rhythms may be more effective when both footfalls are paced. In addition, rhythm perturbations during acoustically paced treadmill walking may not only be employed to evaluate the stability of auditoryĝ€"motor synchronization but also have promising implications for evaluation and training of gait adaptations in neurorehabilitation practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)668-678
    JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    Dive into the research topics of 'Rhythm Perturbations in Acoustically Paced Treadmill Walking After Stroke'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this