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Dr. Ervin Sejdic's multidisciplinary research group is dissecting the distinctive walk of disease


Contact: B. Rose Huber (rhuber@pitt.edu, 412-624-4356, Cell: 412-328-6008)

PITTSBURGH  (July 2, 2013) ... Older adults diagnosed with brain disorders such as Parkinson's disease often feel a loss of independence because of their lack of mobility and difficulty walking. To better understand and improve these mobility issues-and detect them sooner-a University of Pittsburgh multidisciplinary research team is working toward building a more advanced motion test that addresses a wider range of walking patterns and movements.

In a recent issue of  IEEE Transactions on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering , researchers from Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and School of Medicine propose a mathematical model that can examine multiple walking, or gait-related, features in healthy and clinical populations. To date, no study has brought together such a team to examine such a high number of movement features comparing healthy and clinical older adults. Previous studies have typically only measured one or two types of movement features in just one population. 

"Right away, you can tell whether an older individual has difficulties walking by conducting a simple gait test," said  Ervin Sejdic , lead author of the paper and an assistant professor of engineering in the Swanson School. "But can we quantify these changes and document them earlier? That's the biggest issue here and what we're trying to model."

Read the news release at the Office of Public Affairs.

Contact: Paul Kovach