Neurorehabilitation 2002 ; 17(1) : 81-7
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to examine the Functional Ambulation Performance Score (FAP; a quantitative gait measure) in persons with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) using the auditory stimulation of a metronome (ASM). Participants (n = 16; 5F/11M; range 60–84 yrs.) had a primary diagnosis of PD and were all independent ambulators. Footfall data were collected while participants walked multiple times on an electronic walkway under the following conditions: 1) PRETEST: establishing baseline cadence, 2) ASM: metronome set to baseline cadence, 3) 10ASM: metronome set to 10% FAP scores increased between PRETEST and POSTTEST. PRE/POSTTEST comparisons also indicated decreases in cycle time and double support and increases in step length and step-extremity ratio (step length/leg length). The results confirm prior findings that auditory stimulation can be used to positively influence the gait of persons with PD and suggest beneficial effects of ASM as an adjunct to dopaminergic therapy to treat gait dysfunctions in PD.