Journal article

Gait function in adults with Williams syndrome

Darren R Hocking, Nicole J Rinehart, Jennifer L McGinley, John L Bradshaw

Experimental Brain Research | SPRINGER | Published : 2009


Despite early neurological reports of gait abnormalities in Williams syndrome (WS), a rare genetically based neurodevelopmental disorder, there has not yet been any systematic investigation of gait dysfunction in this disorder. The current study examined the gait characteristics in adults with WS and a neurologically normal control group as they walked at self-selected slow, preferred and fast speeds using the GAITRite walkway. The WS group showed hypokinetic gait, which manifested as reduced gait speed and stride length, but with a disproportionate increase in cadence (stepping frequency) as speed was increased. The WS group also showed increased variability of stride length and a broad bas..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Funding Acknowledgements

This research was funded through an Australian Postgraduate Award to the first author, with infrastructure support through the Clinical Neurobiology of Psychiatry Platform (CNPP) and the Neurosciences Victoria (NSV) platform. We gratefully acknowledge Prof. Bruce Tonge, Prof. Steward Einfeld, the Williams Syndrome Family Support Group (VIC) and Genetic Health Services Victoria for their assistance with recruitment of WS participants, and the research participants and their families for devoting their time to the study. We are grateful to Dr. Ashwini Nayate, Dr. Peter Enticott, Dr. Anna Murphy, Kate Ward, and Susan Wilson at the Kingston Centre for their assistance with this study. We are grateful to Dr. Simon Moss and Dr. John Taffe for statistical advice. We thank Dr. Nadia Boscaglia for helpful comments on an earlier version of the manuscript.