Research Article| Volume 345, ISSUE 1-2, P159-163, October 15, 2014

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Novel characterization of gait impairments in people with multiple sclerosis by means of the gait profile score


      • We analyzed gait kinematics in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
      • The index gait profile score (GPS) was calculated from gait analysis data.
      • People with MS exhibit significantly higher GPS values than healthy controls.
      • GPS can be used to define deviations from physiologic gait in people with MS.


      The assessment of gait abnormalities in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) represents a key factor in evaluating the effectiveness of rehabilitation treatments. Despite the availability of sophisticated equipment to objectively evaluate the kinematic aspects of gait, there are still some difficulties in processing the large and complex amount of data they produce in the daily clinical routine. On the basis of the above-mentioned considerations we propose a novel characterization of gait kinematics in individuals with MS, based on a single measure (gait profile score, GPS) obtained from a quantitative three-dimensional analysis of gait performed using an opto-electronic system. We also investigated the correlation between GPS and the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) values. Thirty-four patients suffering from relapsing–remitting MS (13 female, 21 male, mean age 46.7 years) with an EDSS score of ≤6 underwent a gait analysis from which the GPS index was calculated. Their results were compared with those of a control group of healthy age- and gender-matched subjects. The GPS of individuals with MS was found significantly higher with respect to controls (9.12° vs. 5.67°, p < 0.001) as the result of kinematic differences in gait patterns referring to pelvic tilt and rotation, hip flexion–extension and rotation, knee flexion–extension and ankle dorsi- and plantar-flexion. A moderate correlation was also found between the EDSS score of the participants and their GPS values (r = 0.63, p < 0.001). The GPS index thus appears suitable to represent gait deviations from physiological patterns in individuals affected by MS and potentially useful in assessing the outcomes related both to rehabilitation programs and pharmacologic/physical therapies.


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