Physiological Complexity of Gait is Decreased in Individuals with Chronic Stroke

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Complexity represents the adaptability of the biological system, therefore the assessment of complexity during tasks such as walking may be particularly useful when attempting to better understand the recovery processes after stroke. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the complexity of lower extremity gait kinematics in persons with chronic hemiparesis due to stroke is different from that of individuals without disability during a gait task. The group of participants with chronic stroke exhibited reduced gait complexity across all body segments compared to those without disability. The decreased complexity of gait after stroke may represent diminished adaptability in the neuromotor system and may have significant implications when it comes to negotiating diverse environmental constraints and the ability to relearn pre-stroke gait patterns.