Evaluation of Clinical Gait Analysis parameters in patients affected by Multiple Sclerosis: Analysis of kinematics

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Abstract

Background:

Clinical Gait Analysis is commonly used to evaluate specific gait characteristics of patients affected by Multiple Sclerosis. The aim of this report is to present a retrospective cross-sectional analysis of the changes in Clinical Gait Analysis parameters in patients affected by Multiple Sclerosis.

Methods:

In this study a sample of 51 patients with different levels of disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale 2–6.5) was analyzed. We extracted a set of 52 parameters from the Clinical Gait Analysis of each patient and used statistical analysis and linear regression to assess differences among several groups of subjects stratified according to the Expanded Disability Status Scale and 6-Minutes Walking Test. The impact of assistive devices (e.g. canes and crutches) on the kinematics was also assessed in a subsample of patients.

Findings:

Subjects showed decreased range of motion at hip, knee and ankle that translated in increased pelvic tilt and hiking. Comparison between the two stratifications showed that gait speed during 6-Minutes Walking Test is better at discriminating patients' kinematics with respect to Expanded Disability Status Scale. Assistive devices were shown not to significantly impact gait kinematics and the Clinical Gait Analysis parameters analyzed.

Interpretation:

We were able to characterize disability-related trends in gait kinematics. The results presented in this report provide a small atlas of the changes in gait characteristics associated with different disability levels in the Multiple Sclerosis population. This information could be used to effectively track the progression of MS and the effect of different therapies.

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