Project 3

Prodromal idiopathic Parkinson‘s disease (PD): Can selected gait and balance parameters be used as earliest markers of neurodegeneration?

State-of-the-Art: Several studies aimed at detecting prodromal motor markers of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD) in order to tackle the disease in its earliest stages. There is particularly great hope that changes in quantitative gait parameters as assessed under challenging conditions can play a role as prodromal markers in PD. There is evidence that such parameters deviate from normative values even before the disease is clinically overt.

Approach: We will extract gait and balance parameters of a standardised gait and balance assessment performed under challenging conditions from a mobile 8-sensor system (Mobility Lab®), from 1100 participants of the longitudinal aging cohort study TREND (Tübinger Evaluation of Neurodegeneration, This study includes a wide range of quantitative demographic, personal, environmental and functional parameters, and therefore allows the inclusion of parameters relevant for the ICF model. At time of start of the proposed ETN, the study will be in its 8th observation year and 5th wave, and will contain data of approximately 20 participants who converted to PD during this observation time. The first approach is a cross-sectional comparison of gait and balance parameters between study participants at high risk for PD (but not yet having clinical PD) and controls. The second approach is longitudinal, and will follow gait and balance changes of the converters during their preclinical phase. We will include single and dual tasking performance in our analyses.