Step Length Variability in Minimally Disabled Women With Multiple Sclerosis or Clinically Isolated SyndromeBy Flegel, Melanie; Knox, Katherine; Nickel, Darren; International Journal of MS Care, Volume 14, Number 1, pages 26-30
Publication Date: Spring 2012
Study investigated whether increased step length variability could be detected in minimally disabled patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) or clinically isolated syndrome (CIS) using a sensored walkway gait analysis system. The study was undertaken as determining abnormal parameters of gait in early MS could lead to improved prognostication of disability progression in MS and influence treatment and rehabilitation. Participants were 9 women with MS/CIS and a mean age of 41.5 years and 9 age and 9 gender matched controls. MS/CIS participants underwent a neurologic examination, and all participants completed a screening interview. Each participant completed three walks at a self-selected pace and three walks at a brisk pace across the GAITRite 10 meter electronic walkway system. Mean values for step length variability, step length, and velocity were calculated for each participant’s self-selected and brisk trials. Independent t tests were used to compare MS/CIS participants with controls, and effect sizes were calculated. Step length variability in the left leg at the self-selected pace was found to be greater in participants with MS/CIS than in controls, although no significant differences were found in velocity or step length. Step length variability measurement was found to be a promising method for detecting subtle gait dysfunction. Study limitations and implications for future research are discussed.
Assistive Products Discussed: GAITRITE SYSTEM
Published by: Consortium of MS Centers (Website:http://www.mscare.org)
Link to text: http://www.ijmsc.org/doi/full/10.7224/1537-2073-14.1.26