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Behavioural Neurology
Volume 2017, Article ID 4820428, 7 pages
Research Article

Characterizing Patients with Unilateral Vestibular Hypofunction Using Kinematic Variability and Local Dynamic Stability during Treadmill Walking

1Guangdong Provincial Engineering and Technology Center of Advanced and Portable Medical Devices, School of Engineering, Sun Yat-sen University, No. 132, East Waihuan Rd, Higher Education Mega Center, Guangzhou 510006, China
2Department of Otolaryngology-HNS, Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, 107 Yanjiang West Rd, Guangzhou 510120, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Rong Song; nc.ude.usys.liam@gnorgnos and Yiqing Zheng; moc.liamtoh@gnehzgniqiy

Received 22 March 2017; Accepted 30 April 2017; Published 13 July 2017

Academic Editor: Ting Zhao

Copyright © 2017 Peng Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Here, we aimed to compare the unstable gait caused by unilateral vestibular hypofunction (UVH) with the normal gait. Twelve patients with UVH and twelve age-matched control subjects were enrolled in the study. Thirty-four markers were attached to anatomical positions of each participant, and a three-dimensional (3D) motion analysis system was used to capture marker coordinates as the participants walked on a treadmill. The mean standard deviation of the rotation angles was used to represent gait variability. To explore gait stability, local dynamic stability was calculated from the trunk trajectory. The UVH group had wider step width and greater variability of roll rotation at the hip than the control group (). Also, the UVH group had lower local dynamic stability in the medial-lateral (ML) direction than the control group (). By linear regression analysis, we identified a linear relationship between the short-term Lyapunov exponent and vestibular functional asymmetry. The result implies that UVH-induced asymmetry can increase posture variability and gait instability. This study demonstrates the potential for using kinematic parameters to quantitatively evaluate the severity of vestibular functional asymmetry. Further studies will be needed to explore the clinical effectiveness of such approaches.