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J Child Neurol. 2010 Sep;25(9):1103-9. doi: 10.1177/0883073810371002. Epub 2010 Jun 29.

Classification of the gait patterns of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and their relationship to function.

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  • 1Shriners Hospitals for Children, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.


Corticosteroids have recently been shown to reduce expected loss of muscle strength in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and extend the time they can walk. We evaluated 43 boys with the condition to determine whether taking corticosteroids is associated with differences in gait pattern, gross motor skills, energy efficiency, and timed motor performance. We used the gait deviation index to quantify the degree of gait pathology and a single measure of gait quality. There were minimal differences in gait pattern, gross motor skills, energy efficiency, or timed motor performance in boys who took corticosteroids compared with those who did not. Clustering by gait deviation index, however, revealed subtle differences between groups in gait patterns, gross motor skills, and energy efficiency. We conclude that, in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, gait pattern deviations are related to function, which can provide further insight into the understanding of disease progression and treatment options to enhance function and maintain ambulation.

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