Abnormalities in gait kinematics in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) who have mild disability have been noted using motion capture systems. However, it is not clear if these abnormalities can be detected with clinically feasible technology. This investigation examined if the spatiotemporal markers of gait including variability metrics can distinguish between PwMS with minimal disability and controls with clinically feasible technology. 43 PwMS with minimal disability and 43 healthy controls completed four walking trials along a 26 foot long pressure sensitive pathway (GAITRite). Spatiotemporal markers of gait including variability metrics were determined. Statistical analysis revealed that PwMS walked slower, with fewer, shorter, wider steps and spent a greater percentage of a gait cycle in double support than controls. Additionally, PwMS had greater variability in the time between steps, single support percent and step width than controls. Collectively, the results highlight that PwMS, in the absence of clinical gait impairment, have subtle but detectable differences in gait and that these alterations can be detected with clinically feasible technology. The current results raise the possibility of targeting walking deviations earlier in disability progression in PwMS.
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