Vestibular dysfunction typically manifests as postural instability and gait irregularities, in part due to inaccuracies in processing spatial afference. In this study, we have instrumented the tandem walking test with multiple inertial sensors to easily and precisely investigate novel variables that can distinguish abnormal postural and gait control in patients with unilateral vestibular hypofunction. Ten healthy adults and five patients with unilateral vestibular hypofunction were assessed with the tandem walking test during eyes open and eyes closed conditions. Each subject donned five inertial sensors on the upper body (head, trunk, and pelvis) and lower body (each lateral malleolus). Our results indicate that measuring the degree of balance and gait regularity using five body-worn inertial sensors during the tandem walking test provides a novel quantification of movement that identifies abnormalities in patients with vestibular impairment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by the Department of Defense (W81XWH-15-1-0442).
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Body-worn inertial sensor
- Tandem walking
- Vestibular disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering