Arm swing asymmetry is commonly observed in early Parkinson's disease (PD) and has been found to be useful for early diagnosis. However, there are uncertainties about the nature of its relationships with gait parameters, especially shoulder and elbow motions. Therefore, this study explored how these relationships are different between PD and controls. Forty one early PD and 23 controls were included. Participants walked at self-selected speed for 3D motion analysis. Arm swing at the wrist (AS), temporospatial parameters and kinematics in elbow, shoulder and trunk were obtained. Amplitudes and asymmetries of these variables were compared between PD and control groups. PD group showed increased AS asymmetry, compared to controls. Multiple hierarchical regression analysis on AS asymmetry was conducted in order to investigate how PD influences on the relationship between AS asymmetry and other variables. In pooled data (PD and control group), asymmetries in elbow and shoulder range of motion (RoM) were significant predictors for AS asymmetry but walking speed and asymmetries in temporospatial parameters were not significant. Group effect (PD effect) was significantly mediated by only elbow RoM asymmetry. Interaction between group and elbow RoM asymmetry was statistically significant, indicating that group was an effect modifier for elbow RoM asymmetry effect on AS asymmetry. Conclusively, arm swing asymmetry measured at the wrist represents the involvement of PD effect on the unilateral and distal upper limb in early stage. These findings are helpful for future researches related to clinical applications and mechanisms of arm swing asymmetry in PD.
- Arm swing
- Parkinson's disease
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology