Background: Gait impairment is a common symptom in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, but there is a lack of evidence about gait performance in the group of MS patients with no apparent disability. The aim of our study was to evaluate gait characteristics in MS patients with no apparent impairment of walking and with an Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS 0-1.5), and to determine whether any abnormalities are detectable by common clinical tests.
Methods: This was an observational study of 64 MS patients with an EDSS 0-1.5 and 47 age- and sex-matched healthy controls. We measured their performance in the timed 25-foot walk test (T25FWT) and the 2-minute walk test (2MWT). The spatiotemporal parameters of gait were measured using a GAITRite instrument.
Results: MS patients with no apparent disability (EDSS 0-1.5) performed worse in T25FWT and 2MWT than normal controls. During the self-selected walking speed test on GAITRite, MS patients had a prolonged double support phase, and during the fast walking speed test, they had lower cadence and decreased step length.
© 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.