Clinical Edge

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Turning: Important Marker of Gait and Balance in MS

PLoS One; ePub 2018 Jun 7; Adusumilli, Lancia, et al

The 25-Foot Times Walk Test, the standard straight-line gait assessment for multiple sclerosis (MS,) may not reflect adequately upon balance and coordination, according to a recent study. Walking tests with turns, however, may add additional information towards understanding gait and balance status, and be more reflective of ambulation. 91 persons with MS were enrolled in an initial cross-sectional study, with 24 subjects completed a follow-up visit an average of 12 months later. Spatiotemporal gait analysis was collected at both visits using APDM Opal wireless body-worn sensors while performing the Timed-Up-and-Go (TUG) and 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT). Researchers found:

  • The addition of 6MWT peak turn velocity (PTV) to 6MWT stride velocity (SV) increased the predictive power of the 6MWT for the Activities-Specific Balance Confidence Scale (ABC) from 20% to 33%, and increased the predictive power from 28% to 41% for the multiple Sclerosis Walking Scale (MSWS)-12.
  • TUG PTV added to TUG SV also strengthened the relationship of the TUG for the ABC from 19% to 28%, and 27% to 36% for the MSWS-12.

Adusumilli G, Lancia S, Levasseur VA, et al. Turning is an important marker of balance confidence and walking limitation in persons with multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print June 7, 2018]. PLoS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0198178.

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