Author(s): Horvat M, Croce R, Zagrodnik J, Brooks B, Carter K
This investigation compared spatial and temporal gait movement parameters of a sample of individuals with Down syndrome (n=12) and one of individuals without disabilities (n=12). All participants were evaluated on responses to a preferred pace and fast walk with the GAITRite Electronic Walkway. Spatial outcomes included step and stride length, step and stride width, toe-in/toe-out, and base of support. Temporal outcomes included step time, velocity, single and double leg support time, stance, and swing time. There were significant group differences for step length, step width, stride length, and velocity in the preferred walk condition. Significant group differences for step length, step width, and stride length were observed in the fast walk condition. Percentage differences also indicated lower scores for all spatial and temporal variables in relation to the control group. The ability to control gait movements appears to reflect earlier movement experiences, so it may be possible to use variable sensory feedback and specific training to modify and adjust movement responses and improve gait performance in Down syndrome.