2023/07 Is Lyapunov exponent a reliable metric to detect dynamic stability in Parkinson’s disease?


“Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder worldwide. It affects the nervous system, causing motor and non-motor symptomatology. However, its clinical diagnosis remains dependent on the expertise of clinicians, as perceptual clinical scales are often used. Gait stability is one of the most relevant motor signs in PD. Nonetheless, it is usually not reported or quantified, possibly due to its unclear meaning and the high variability of metrics used in the literature. This work aims to identify a reliable and objective indicator that clinicians can use to assess patients in realistic contexts. We focused on the Largest Lyapunov Exponent (LLE), being the most common metric used in previous research works to quantify gait stability. The short and long-term LLEs were calculated in a group of 34 healthy and 42 participants diagnosed with PD. The long-term LLE extracted from the chest, right arm and right foot sensors showed statistical differences between subjects with PD and healthy control (HC) subjects, showing that the HC subjects are more stable than PD patients, whereas the short-term LLE showed the opposite results. Further investigation is required to clarify the reliability of this metric to detect and rate gait stability in people affected with PD.Clinical Relevance— This study is the first step towards the identification of an objective methodology to assess gait stability in clinical settings. Achieving this goal will contribute to improve the understanding and support the diagnosis of gait disorders that cause gait stability problems.”