The walking speed-dependency of gait variability in bilateral vestibulopathy and its association with clinical tests of vestibular function

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


  • Christopher McCrum
  • Florence Lucieer
  • Raymond van de Berg
  • Paul Willems
  • Angélica Pérez Fornos
  • Nils Guinand
  • Kiros Karamanidis
  • Herman Kingma
  • Kenneth Meijer

Research units


Understanding balance and gait deficits in vestibulopathy may help improve clinical care and our knowledge of the vestibular contributions to balance. Here, we examined walking speed effects on gait variability in healthy adults and in adults with bilateral vestibulopathy (BVP). Forty-four people with BVP, 12 healthy young adults and 12 healthy older adults walked at 0.4 m/s to 1.6 m/s in 0.2 m/s increments on a dual belt, instrumented treadmill. Using motion capture and kinematic data, the means and coefficients of variation for step length, time, width and double support time were calculated. The BVP group also completed a video head impulse test and examinations of ocular and cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials and dynamic visual acuity. Walking speed significantly affected all gait parameters. Step length variability at slower speeds and step width variability at faster speeds were the most distinguishing parameters between the healthy participants and people with BVP, and among people with BVP with different locomotor capacities. Step width variability, specifically, indicated an apparent persistent importance of vestibular function at increasing speeds. Gait variability was not associated with the clinical vestibular tests. Our results indicate that gait variability at multiple walking speeds has potential as an assessment tool for vestibular interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number18392
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 01.12.2019

ID: 5244234

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