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Wavelet-based multiscale analysis of minimum toe clearance variability in the young and elderly during walking
conference contributionposted on 2007-12-01, 00:00 authored by A H Khandoker, Chandan KarmakarChandan Karmakar, R K Begg, M Palaniswami
As humans age or are influenced by pathology of the neuromuscular system, gait patterns are known to adjust, accommodating for reduced function in the balance control system. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a wavelet based multiscale analysis of a gait variable [minimum toe clearance (MTC)] in deriving indexes for understanding age-related declines in gait performance and screening of balance impairments in the elderly. MTC during walking on a treadmill for 30 healthy young, 27 healthy elderly and 10 falls risk elderly subjects with a history of tripping falls were analyzed. The MTC signal from each subject was decomposed to eight detailed signals at different wavelet scales by using the discrete wavelet transform. The variances of detailed signals at scales 8 to 1 were calculated. The multiscale exponent (β) was then estimated from the slope of the variance progression at successive scales. The variance at scale 5 was significantly (p<0.01) different between young and healthy elderly group. Results also suggest that the β between scales 1 to 2 are effective for recognizing falls risk gait patterns. Results have implication for quantifying gait dynamics in normal, ageing and pathological conditions. Early detection of gait pattern changes due to ageing and balance impairments using wavelet-based multiscale analysis might provide the opportunity to initiate pre-emptive measures to be undertaken to avoid injurious falls. © 2007 IEEE.