Aging Clinical and Experimental Research

, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 1137–1142 | Cite as

Analyzing gait variability and dual-task interference in patients with Parkinson’s disease and freezing by means of the word-color Stroop test

  • Ana Francisca Rozin KleinerEmail author
  • Aline S. Pagnussat
  • Giulia di Prisco
  • Alessandro Vagnini
  • Fabrizio Stocchi
  • Maria Francesca De Pandis
  • Manuela Galli
Original Article


The ability to carry out two tasks at once is critical to effective functioning in the real world and deficits are termed Dual-task interference or effect—DTE. DTE substantially compromised the gait of subjects with Parkinson’s disease and freezing of gait (PD + FOG), leading to exaggerated slowing, increasing gait dysrhythmicity, and inducing FOG episodes. This study aimed to investigate the DTE in gait variability of subjects with PD and freezing of gait (PD + FOG). Thirty-three patients with PD + FOG and 14 healthy individuals (REFERENCE) took part at this study. Two gait conditions were analyzed: usual walking (single task) and walking while taking the word-color Stroop test (dual task). The computed variables were as follows: gait velocity, step length, step timing, gait asymmetry, variability measures and DTE of each variable. The PD + FOG group has presented negative DTE values for all analyzed variables, indicating dual task cost. The REFERENCE group has presented dual-task benefits for step length standard deviation and step time. Differences between both groups and conditions were found for all variables, except for step time. Taking the word-color Stroop test while walking led to a larger dual-task cost in subjects with PD + FOG.


Parkinson’s disease Freezing of gait Gait Dual task Word-color Stroop test 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest

Human and animal rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

The present study complied with ethical standards and participants provided informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e BioingegneriaPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Movement Analysis and Neurological Rehabilitation LaboratoryUniversidade Federal de Ciencias da Saude de Porto AlegrePorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.IRCCS San Raffaele PisanaRomaItaly
  4. 4.San Raffaele Cassino, Tosinvest SanitàCassinoItaly

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