A commentary on:
Older adults can improve compensatory stepping with repeated postural perturbations
by Dijkstra,B.W., Horak,F.B., Kamsma,Y.P.T., and Peterson,D.S.(2015).Front.AgingNeurosci.
In sum, the results of Dijkstra etal. (2015) are of importance and significance for the field of falls prevention and stability control in aging. In particular, the work highlights the importance of multidirectional step or perturbation training, due to a lack of transfer across tasks. Whether this would hold for multidirectional gait perturbations is unclear, due to the influence of forward velocity during walking. Future work should explore
different types, intensities and frequencies of perturbations in order to determine the most effective strategy for improving dynamic stability control in healthy older adults and inpatients with declined locomotor performance and increased falls risk. Finally, as Dijkstra etal. (2015) and previous studies found floor effects in the adaptation of young participants, further attempts should be made to appropriately scale perturbations to participant or groupability, in order to reliably compare adaptation across different groups.