Publications by authors named "Stefano Filippo Castiglia"

6 Publications

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An artificial neural network approach to detect presence and severity of Parkinson's disease via gait parameters.

PLoS One 2021 19;16(2):e0244396. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, University of Rome Sapienza, Latina, Italy.

Introduction: Gait deficits are debilitating in people with Parkinson's disease (PwPD), which inevitably deteriorate over time. Gait analysis is a valuable method to assess disease-specific gait patterns and their relationship with the clinical features and progression of the disease.

Objectives: Our study aimed to i) develop an automated diagnostic algorithm based on machine-learning techniques (artificial neural networks [ANNs]) to classify the gait deficits of PwPD according to disease progression in the Hoehn and Yahr (H-Y) staging system, and ii) identify a minimum set of gait classifiers.

Methods: We evaluated 76 PwPD (H-Y stage 1-4) and 67 healthy controls (HCs) by computerized gait analysis. We computed the time-distance parameters and the ranges of angular motion (RoMs) of the hip, knee, ankle, trunk, and pelvis. Principal component analysis was used to define a subset of features including all gait variables. An ANN approach was used to identify gait deficits according to the H-Y stage.

Results: We identified a combination of a small number of features that distinguished PwPDs from HCs (one combination of two features: knee and trunk rotation RoMs) and identified the gait patterns between different H-Y stages (two combinations of four features: walking speed and hip, knee, and ankle RoMs; walking speed and hip, knee, and trunk rotation RoMs).

Conclusion: The ANN approach enabled automated diagnosis of gait deficits in several symptomatic stages of Parkinson's disease. These results will inspire future studies to test the utility of gait classifiers for the evaluation of treatments that could modify disease progression.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0244396PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7894951PMC
February 2021

Pelvic obliquity as a compensatory mechanism leading to lower energy recovery: Characterization among the types of prostheses in subjects with transfemoral amputation.

Gait Posture 2020 07 12;80:280-284. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Polo Pontino, Via Franco Faggiana 1668, 04100, Latina, Italy; Movement Analysis Laboratory, Policlinico Italia, Piazza del Campidano, 6, 00162, Rome, Italy.

Background: Subjects with transfemoral amputation (TFA) show an asymmetric gait pattern associated with a decreased ability to recover mechanical energy and an increased metabolic cost of walking.

Research Question: This study aimed to identify the spatio-temporal and kinematic gait variables correlated with mechanical energy values in subjects with TFA and to observe the ability of the identified parameters to discriminate between TFA and controls according to the type of prosthesis.

Methods: The gait of 40 subjects with TFA was evaluated with a motion 3-D optoelectronic system. Nine subjects wore a mechanical prosthesis (TFAm), seventeen a C-Leg prosthesis (TFAc), and fourteen a Genium prosthesis (TFAg). Spatio-temporal and pelvic kinematic parameters were measured. Energy recovery was measured relative to the whole-body center of mass (CoM) kinematics as the fraction of mechanical energy recovered during each walking step (R-step). Correlation tests and multiple linear regression analyses were used to evaluate the correlation and association between kinematic and energy variables, respectively. Receiver operating characteristics curves were plotted to assess the ability of the correlated parameter to distinguish subjects with TFA from controls, and optimal cutoff point values were calculated according to the type of prosthesis.

Results: Among the spatio-temporal and kinematic parameters correlated to R-step, only pelvic obliquity of the prosthetic side was significantly associated with R-step. It showed an excellent ability to discriminate between TFA and controls. Furthermore, pelvic obliquity showed an excellent discriminative ability in identifying TFAm and TFAc and a good discriminative ability in identifying TFAg from controls.

Significance: Pelvic obliquity plays an important role in energy recovery during gait for subjects using prosthetics. This information might be exploited to monitor the adaptation of subjects with TFA to prosthetic devices, to lower the energetic cost of walking potentially, and to reduce the long-term risks of secondary physical complications in prosthetic users.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gaitpost.2020.06.013DOI Listing
July 2020

Impairment of Global Lower Limb Muscle Coactivation During Walking in Cerebellar Ataxias.

Cerebellum 2020 Aug;19(4):583-596

Department of Medico-Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Latina, Italy.

The aim of this study was to investigate the time-varying multi-muscle coactivation function (TMCf) in the lower limbs during gait and its relationship with the biomechanical and clinical features of patients with cerebellar ataxia. A total of 23 patients with degenerative cerebellar ataxia (16 with spinocerebellar ataxia, 7 with adult-onset ataxia of unknown etiology) and 23 age-, sex-, and speed-matched controls were investigated. The disease severity was assessed using the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia (SARA) in all patients. During walking, simultaneous acquisition of kinematic, kinetic, and electromyography data was performed using a motion analysis system. The coactivation was processed throughout the gait cycle using the TMCf, and the following parameters were measured: synthetic coactivation index, full width at half maximum, and center of activity. Spatiotemporal (walking speed, stance duration, swing duration, first and second double-support durations, step length, step width, stride length, Center of Mass displacement), kinetic (vertical component of GRFs), and energy consumption (total energy consumption and mechanical energy recovered) parameters were also measured. The coactivation variables were compared between patients and controls and were correlated with both clinical and gait variables. A significantly increased global TMCf was found in patients compared with controls. In addition, the patients showed a significant shift of the center of activity toward the initial contact and a significant reduction in energy recovery. All coactivation parameters were negatively correlated with gait speed, whereas the coactivation index and center of activity were positively correlated with both center-of-mass mediolateral displacement values and SARA scores. Our findings suggest that patients use global coactivation as a compensatory mechanism during the earliest and most challenging subphase (loading response) of the gait cycle to reduce the lateral body sway, thus improving gait stability at the expense of effective energy recovery. This information could be helpful in optimizing rehabilitative treatment aimed at improving lower limb muscle control during gait in patients with cerebella ataxia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12311-020-01142-6DOI Listing
August 2020

Exploring Risk of Falls and Dynamic Unbalance in Cerebellar Ataxia by Inertial Sensor Assessment.

Sensors (Basel) 2019 Dec 17;19(24). Epub 2019 Dec 17.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Rome, Italy.

Background: Patients suffering from cerebellar ataxia have extremely variable gait kinematic features. We investigated whether and how wearable inertial sensors can describe the gait kinematic features among ataxic patients.

Methods: We enrolled 17 patients and 16 matched control subjects. We acquired data by means of an inertial sensor attached to an ergonomic belt around pelvis, which was connected to a portable computer via Bluetooth. Recordings of all the patients were obtained during overground walking. From the accelerometric data, we obtained the harmonic ratio (HR), i.e., a measure of the acceleration patterns, smoothness and rhythm, and the step length coefficient of variation (CV), which evaluates the variability of the gait cycle.

Results: Compared to controls, patients had a lower HR, meaning a less harmonic and rhythmic acceleration pattern of the trunk, and a higher step length CV, indicating a more variable step length. Both HR and step length CV showed a high effect size in distinguishing patients and controls (p < 0.001 and p = 0.011, respectively). A positive correlation was found between the step length CV and both the number of falls (R = 0.672; p = 0.003) and the clinical severity (ICARS: R = 0.494; p = 0.044; SARA: R = 0.680; p = 0.003).

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that the use of inertial sensors is effective in evaluating gait and balance impairment among ataxic patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/s19245571DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6960492PMC
December 2019

Progressive Modular Rebalancing System and Visual Cueing for Gait Rehabilitation in Parkinson's Disease: A Pilot, Randomized, Controlled Trial With Crossover.

Front Neurol 2019 29;10:902. Epub 2019 Aug 29.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

The progressive modular rebalancing (PMR) system is a comprehensive rehabilitation approach derived from proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation principles. PMR training encourages focus on trunk and proximal muscle function through direct perception, strength, and stretching exercises and emphasizes bi-articular muscle function in the improvement of gait performance. Sensory cueing, such as visual cues (VC), is one of the more established techniques for gait rehabilitation in PD. In this study, we propose PMR combined with VC for improving gait performance, balance, and trunk control during gait in patients with PD. Our assumption herein was that the effect of VC may add to improved motor performance induced by the PMR treatment. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether the PMR system plus VC was a more effective treatment option than standard physiotherapy in improving gait function in patients with PD. The secondary aim of the study was to evaluate the effect of this treatment on motor function severity. Two-center, randomized, controlled, observer-blind, crossover study with a 4-month washout period. Forty individuals with idiopathic PD in Hoehn and Yahr stages 1-4. Eight-week rehabilitation programs consisting of PMR plus VC (treatment A) and conventional physiotherapy (treatment B). Spatiotemporal gait parameters, joint kinematics, and trunk kinematics. UPDRS-III scale scores. The rehabilitation program was well-tolerated by individuals with PD and most participants showed improvements in gait variables and UPDRS-III scores with both treatments. However, patients who received PMR with VC showed better results in gait function with regard to gait performance (increased step length, gait speed, and joint kinematics), gait balance (increased step width and double support duration), and trunk control (increased trunk motion) than those receiving conventional physiotherapy. While crossover results revealed some differences in primary outcomes, only 37.5% of patients crossed over between the groups. As a result, our findings should be interpreted cautiously. The PMR plus VC program could be used to improve gait function and severity motor of motor deficit in individuals with PD. : www.ClinicalTrials.gov, identifier NCT03346265.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00902DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6730596PMC
August 2019

Prediction of Responsiveness of Gait Variables to Rehabilitation Training in Parkinson's Disease.

Front Neurol 2019 2;10:826. Epub 2019 Aug 2.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy.

Gait disorders represent one of the most disabling features of Parkinson's disease, which may benefit from rehabilitation. No consistent evidence exists about which gait biomechanical factors can be modified by rehabilitation and which clinical characteristic can predict rehabilitation-induced improvements. The aims of the study were as follows: (i) to recognize the gait parameters modifiable by a short-term rehabilitation program; (ii) to evaluate the gait parameters that can normalize after rehabilitation; and (iii) to identify clinical variables predicting improvements in gait function after rehabilitation. Thirty-six patients affected by idiopathic Parkinson's disease in Hoehn-Yahr stage 1-3 and 22 healthy controls were included in the study. Both clinical and instrumental (gait analysis) evaluations were performed before and after a 10-weeks rehabilitation treatment. Time-distance parameters, lower limb joint, and trunk kinematics were measured. At baseline evaluation with matched speed, almost all gait parameters were significantly different between patients and healthy controls. After the 10-weeks rehabilitation, most gait parameters improved, and spatial asymmetry and trunk rotation normalized. Multiple linear regression of gender combined with Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale-III predicted both ΔSpeed and ΔStep length of both sides; gender combined with Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale-II predicted ΔCadence; age combined with Hoehn-Yahr score and disease duration predicted Δtrunk rotation range of motion. Impaired gait parameters are susceptible to improvement by rehabilitation, and younger men with Parkinson's disease who are less severely affected and at early disease stage are more susceptible to improvements in gait function after a 10-weeks rehabilitation program.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00826DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6688512PMC
August 2019