Effects of Levodopa on Postural Strategies in Parkinson's disease

Chiara Baston, Martina Mancini, Laura Rocchi, Fay Horak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Altered postural control and balance are major disabling issues of Parkinson's disease (PD). Static and dynamic posturography have provided insight into PD's postural deficits; however, little is known about impairments in postural coordination. We hypothesized that subjects with PD would show more ankle strategy during quiet stance than healthy control subjects, who would include some hip strategy, and this stiffer postural strategy would increase with disease progression.We quantified postural strategy and sway dispersion with inertial sensors (one placed on the shank and one on the posterior trunk at L5 level) while subjects were standing still with their eyes open. A total of 70 subjects with PD, including a mild group (H&Y≤2, N = 33) and a more severe group (H&Y≥3, N = 37), were assessed while OFF and while ON levodopa medication. We also included a healthy control group (N = 21).Results showed an overall preference of ankle strategy in all groups while maintaining balance. Postural strategy was significantly lower ON compared to OFF medication (indicating more hip strategy), but no effect of disease stage was found. Instead, sway dispersion was significantly larger in ON compared to OFF medication, and significantly larger in the more severe PD group compared to the mild. In addition, increased hip strategy during stance was associated with poorer self-perception of balance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)26-29
Number of pages4
JournalGait and Posture
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Levodopa
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Postural strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Rehabilitation


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