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Gait and jogging parameters in people with minimally impaired multiple sclerosis
Alon Kalron, Zeevi Dvir, Uri Givon, Hani Baransi, Anat Achiron
Gait & Posture Volume 39, Issue 1, January 2014, Pages 297–302
Increasing awareness of the significance of ambulatory limitations in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) requires a regular assessment of walking ability in order to monitor disease dynamics. However, it is questionable whether the standard tools are sufficiently sensitive to detect mobility deficits in patients who are minimally impaired. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to examine an extended assessment tool characterizing spatio-temporal parameters of gait and jogging in people with minimally impaired MS. Twenty relapsing remitting patients diagnosed with MS, 8 women and 12 men, aged 36.3 ± 9.2y, EDSS mean score 1.8 ± 1.2, were recruited from the Multiple Sclerosis Center, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel to participate in the study. Twenty apparently healthy subjects (10 women and 10 men), aged 34.3 ± 7.4 years served as controls. Balance-, gait- and jogging-related spatio-temporal parameters were obtained using the Zebris FDM-T Treadmill (Zebris® Medical GmbH, Germany). Each subject completed a sequence of 3 jogging tests under different conditions. Gait and balance tests were performed prior and after jogging trials. When comparing gait evaluation, jogging revealed additional abnormalities in the MS group vs. the healthy controls. In addition to step time asymmetry and larger step width, jogging was associated with a slower self-selected velocity, shorter step length, longer stance phase and a prolonged double support phase. People minimally affected by MS have the ability to jog. However, clinician's should be aware of the possible deficits accompanying this popular activity.