Digital Phenotypes of Normal and Pathological Human Gait
Dr. Carolynn Patten, Director and Professor, Biomechanics, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Neuroscience, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, UC Davis
Dr. Patten is a neuroscientist and physical therapist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of motor dysfunction associated with aging and adult neuropathologies, such as stroke. She directs the UC Davis Biomechanics, Rehabilitation, and Integrative Neuroscience (BRaIN) Lab and Co-Directs the UC Davis Center for Neuroengineering and Medicine.
Dr. Patten’s research focuses on understanding the neural basis of human movement, investigating human motor control and adaptation from a perspective of neuromechanics. Using concurrent behavioral and neurophysiological methods, her laboratory has developed techniques sensitive to motor impairment.
Nearly half the U.S. population (~47%) is affected by at least one chronic condition affecting health, independent mobility, and quality of life. Early detection and management of these conditions would improve quality of life and forestall disabling sequelae. However, there is a need for efficient screening tools to enable the detection of emerging and sub-clinical pathologies among individuals in our rapidly aging population.
One of the most common metrics used to quantify mobility is self-selected walking speed. Robust associations with overall physical functioning and systemic health have inspired reference to walking speed as the “sixth vital sign.” While its relevance has been established and it is straightforward to measure, gait speed is influenced by myriad factors, thus differences and simple changes in gait speed offer only a limited scope of information regarding either the source of mobility limitations or their potential for remediation.