Assessment of Postural Balance in Multiple SclerosisBy Fjeldstad, Cecile; Pardo, Gabriel; Frederiksen, Christine; Bemben, Debra; Bemben, Michael; International Journal of MS Care, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp. 1-5
Publication Date: Spring 2009
Study compared postural balance in multiple-sclerosis (MS) patients and able-bodied controls using a standard screening tool, the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), as well as a more technically sophisticated device, the NeuroCom SMART Balance Master (NeuroCom). The BBS consists of 14 different tests examining individuals’ ability to sit, stand, reach, maintain single-leg stance, and turn. The NeuroCom is a computerized device designed to measure postural balance and postural sway with a series of impairment and functional tests, 6 of which were conducted in the study: the Walk Across (WA), Tandem Walk (TW), and Step/Quick Turn (SQT) to assess functional limitations; the Sensory Organization Test (SOT) to determine sensory impairment; and the Adaptation Test (ADT) and Limits of Stability Test (LOS) to gauge motor impairment. Study participants were 14 individuals diagnosed with MS and 10 able-bodied controls who were assessed with the BBS and the NeuroCom. Test results of the BBS showed significantly more postural instability in the MS group than in the control group. Testing with the NeuroCom showed significantly more postural instability in the MS group than in the control group on the SQT and the SOT. Moderate-to-high correlations were found between the postural assessments using the standard BBS and the NeuroCom balance tests for the MS group. The study concludes that the BBS is an effective and reliable screening tool for balance problems in people with MS; however, the use of a more technically sophisticated device such as the NeuroCom can provide more objective, quantitative measures of postural imbalance and improved monitoring of the progression of balance dysfunction over time.
Published by: Consortium of MS Centers (Website:http://www.mscare.org)
Link to text: http://www.mscare.org/cmsc/images/journal/pdf/IJMS_Spring_09_final_assessment.pdf