Feasibility of Restoring Walking in Multiple Sclerosis with Multichannel Implanted Electrical Stimulation

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Abstract

A patient with multiple sclerosis–related gait dysfunction was followed over the course of his disease. Despite aggressive treatment, he developed significant weakness in ankle dorsiflexors and hip and knee flexors and was no longer capable of consistently taking a step on his own. With electrical stimulation of hip and knee flexors and ankle dorsiflexors using implanted electrodes, he was able to consistently walk short distances as far as 30 m, thus significantly improving his Expanded Disability Status Scale score. This case study supports further exploration into the potential benefits of an implanted pulse generator to ameliorate gait dysfunction and improve quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis.

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