A coupled oscillator model of disordered interlimb coordination in patients with Parkinson's disease.
ABSTRACT Coordination between the left and right limbs during cyclic movements, which can be characterized by the amplitude of each limb's oscillatory movement and relative phase, is impaired in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). A pedaling exercise on an ergometer in a recent clinical study revealed several types of coordination disorder in PD patients. These include an irregular and burst-like amplitude modulation with intermittent changes in its relative phase, a typical sign of chaotic behavior in nonlinear dynamical systems. This clinical observation leads us to hypothesize that emergence of the rhythmic motor behaviors might be concerned with nonlinearity of an underlying dynamical system. In order to gain insight into this hypothesis, we consider a simple hard-wired central pattern generator model consisting of two identical oscillators connected by reciprocal inhibition. In the model, each oscillator acts as a neural half-center controlling movement of a single limb, either left or right, and receives a control input modeling a flow of descending signals from higher motor centers. When these two control inputs are tonic-constant and identical, the model has left-right symmetry and basically exhibits ordered coordination with an alternating periodic oscillation. We show that, depending on the intensities of these two control inputs and on the difference between them that introduces asymmetry into the model, the model can reproduce several behaviors observed in the clinical study. Bifurcation analysis of the model clarifies two possible mechanisms for the generation of disordered coordination in the model: one is the spontaneous symmetry-breaking bifurcation in the model with the left-right symmetry. The other is related to the degree of asymmetry reflecting the difference between the two control inputs. Finally, clinical implications by the model's dynamics are briefly discussed.
- The Japanese Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 01/2006; 43(5):315-321.
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ABSTRACT: Freezing of gait in patients with Parkinson's disease is associated with several factors, including interlimb incoordination and impaired gait cycle regulation. Gait analysis in patients with Parkinson's disease is confounded by parkinsonian symptoms such as rigidity. To understand the mechanisms underlying freezing of gait, we compared gait patterns during straight walking between 9 patients with freezing of gait but little to no parkinsonism (freezing patients) and 11 patients with Parkinson's disease (non-freezing patients). Wireless sensors were used to detect foot contact and toe-off events, and the step phase of each foot contact was calculated by defining one stride cycle of the other leg as 360°. Phase-resetting analysis was performed, whereby the relation between the step phase of one leg and the subsequent phase change in the following step of the other leg was quantified using regression analysis. A small slope of the regression line indicates a forceful correction (phase reset) at every step of the deviation of step phase from the equilibrium phase, usually at around 180°. The slope of this relation was smaller in freezing patients than in non-freezing patients, but the slope exhibited larger step-to-step variability. This indicates that freezing patients executed a forceful but noisy correction of the deviation of step phase, whereas non-freezing patients made a gradual correction of the deviation. Moreover, freezing patients tended to show more variable step phase and stride time than non-freezing patients. Dynamics of a model of two coupled oscillators interacting through a phase resetting mechanism were examined, and indicated that the deterioration of phase reset by noise provoked variability in step phase and stride time. That is, interlimb coordination can affect regulation of the gait cycle. These results suggest that noisy interlimb coordination, which probably caused forceful corrections of step phase deviation, can be a cause of freezing of gait.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(12):e84423. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Balance control (the ability to maintain an upright posture) is asymmetrically controlled in a proportion of patients with Parkinson's disease. Gait asymmetries have been linked to the pathophysiology of freezing of gait. We speculate that asymmetries in balance could contribute to freezing by a) hampering the unloading of the stepping leg and/or b) leading to a preferred stance leg during gait, which then results in asymmetric gait. To investigate this, we examined the relationship between balance control and weight-bearing asymmetries and freezing. We included 20 human patients with Parkinson (tested OFF medication; nine freezers) and nine healthy controls. Balance was perturbed in the sagittal plane, using continuous multi-sine perturbations, applied by a motion platform and by a force at the sacrum. Applying closed-loop system identification techniques, relating the body sway angle to the joint torques of each leg separately, determined the relative contribution of each ankle and hip joint to the total amount of joint torque. We also calculated weight-bearing asymmetries. We determined the 99-percent confidence interval of weight-bearing and balance-control asymmetry using the responses of the healthy controls. Freezers did not have larger asymmetries in weight bearing (p = 0.85) nor more asymmetrical balance control compared to non-freezers (p = 0.25). The healthy linear one-to-one relationship between weight bearing and balance control was significantly different for freezers and non-freezers (p = 0.01). Specifically, non-freezers had a significant relationship between weight bearing and balance control (p = 0.02), whereas this relation was not significant for freezers (p = 0.15). Balance control is asymmetrical in most patients (about 75 percent) with Parkinson's disease, but this asymmetry is not related to freezing. The relationship between weight bearing and balance control seems to be less pronounced in freezers, compared to healthy controls and non-freezers. However, this relationship should be investigated further in larger groups of patients. Citation: Boonstra TA, van Vugt JPP, van der Kooij H, Bloem BR (2014) Balance Asymmetry in Parkinson's Disease and Its Contribution to Freezing of Gait. PLoS ONE 9(7): e102493. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0102493 Copyright: ß 2014 Boonstra et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Funding: This work was supported by the BrainGain Smart Mix Programme of the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (www.nici.ru.nl/braingain); the Dutch Parkinson Patient Foundation (http://www.parkinson-vereniging.nl/; to T.A.B.) and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) (#016076352 to B.R.B.; www.nwo.nl). The funding agencies had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.PLoS ONE 07/2014; · 3.53 Impact Factor