Changes in adaptation of gait and balance performance over the adult life span

Activiteit: Supervision and examination of PhD students of the UGAcademic


Much is already known about the effects of age and cognition on walking and balance performance. However, most research focused on the differences between young and older adults. Little is known about the changes in walking and balance performance over the lifespan and the effects of cognition on these changes. Therefore, the aim of this proposed MSc-PhD project is to gain knowledge about how gait and balance change over the adult life span with an emphasis on gait variability and adaptation, as measures of gait variability and adaptability might detect impairments at an earlier stage. Gait and balance will be quantified using the instrumented Timed-Up-and-Go (iTUG) and split-belt walking under different conditions. The project will consist of five studies with each having its own objectives. The first objective is to develop a model using gait and balance parameters of the iTUG that is able to discriminate subgroups of adults (e.g. young adults, healthy elderly, frail, cognitive intact and cognitive impaired). The next studies focus on getting insights into the effects of the natural aging process over the lifespan on gait and balance performance, with an emphasize on gait adaptation during split-belt walking.
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