The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test has been used to assess balance and mobility in Parkinson's Disease (PD). However, it is not known if this test is sensitive to subtle abnormalities present in early stages of the disease, when balance and gait problems are not clinically evident but may be detected with instrumented analysis of movement. We hypothesise that postural transitions and arm swing during gait will be the most sensitive characteristics of the TUG for early PD. In the present study, we instrumented the TUG test (iTUG) using portable inertial sensors, and extended the walking distance from 3 m (traditional TUG) to 7 m. Twelve subjects with early-to-moderate, untreated PD and 12 healthy individuals participated. Our findings show that although the stopwatch measure of TUG duration did not detect any abnormalities in early-to-mid-stage PD, the peak arm swing velocity on the more affected side, average turning velocity, cadence and peak trunk rotation velocity were significantly slower. These iTUG parameters were also correlated with the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Motor Scale. Thus, the iTUG test is sensitive to untreated PD and could potentially detect progression of PD and response to symptomatic and disease-modifying treatments.
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Funding NIH, 9000 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA; Kinetics Foundation,1 First Street, Suite 12, Los Altos, CA 94022, USA.
Competing interests FBH was a consultant for Kinetics Foundation, who partially funded this study. The potential conflict of interest has been reviewed and managed by OHSU.
Ethics approval Ethics approval was provided by the Oregon Health & Science University Institutional Review Board.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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