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Study of age-related changes in postural control during quiet standing through Linear Discriminant Analysis

Author(s): Cavalheiro Guilherme | Almeida Maria | Pereira Adriano | Andrade Adriano

Journal: BioMedical Engineering OnLine
ISSN 1475-925X

Volume: 8;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 35;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background The human body adopts a number of strategies to maintain an upright position. The analysis of the human balance allows for the understanding and identification of such strategies. The displacement of the centre of pressure (COP) is a measure that has been successfully employed in studies regarding the postural control. Most of these investigations are related to the analysis of individuals suffering from neuromuscular disorders. Recent studies have shown that the elderly population is growing very fast in many countries all over the world, and therefore, researches that try to understand changes in this group are required. In this context, this study proposes the analysis of the postural control, measured by the displacement of the COP, in groups of young and elderly adults. Methods In total 59 subjects participated of this study. They were divided into seven groups according to their age. The displacement of the COP was collected for each subject standing on a force plate. Two experimental conditions, of 30 seconds each, were investigated: opened eyes and closed eyes. Traditional and recent digital signal processing tools were employed for feature computation from the displacement of the COP. Statistical analyses were carried out in order to identify significant differences between the features computed from the distinct groups that could allow for their discrimination. Results Our results showed that Linear Discrimination Analysis (LDA), which is one of the most popular feature extraction and classifier design techniques, could be successfully employed as a linear transformation, based on the linear combination of standard features for COP analysis, capable of estimating a unique feature, so-called LDA-value, from which it was possible to discriminate the investigated groups and show a high correlation between this feature and age. Conclusion These results show that the analysis of features computed from the displacement of the COP are of great importance in studies trying to understand the ageing process. In particular, the LDA-value showed to be an adequate feature for assessment of changes in the postural control which can be related to functional changes that occur over the ageing.
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