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Motor Control. 2012 Apr;16(2):229-44.

Gait variability measures reveal differences between multiple sclerosis patients and healthy controls.

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Nebraska Biomechanics Core Facility, Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, University of Nebraska at Omaha, NE, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine the differences in gait variability between patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and healthy controls during walking at a self-selected pace.


Kinematics were collected during three minutes of treadmill walking for 10 patients with MS and 10 healthy controls. The Coefficient of Variation (CoV), the Approximate Entropy (ApEn) and the Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) were used to investigate the fluctuations present in stride length and step width from continuous strides.


ApEn revealed that patients with MS had significantly lower values than healthy controls for stride length (p < .001) and step width (p < .001).


ApEn results revealed that the natural fluctuations present during gait in the stride length and step width time series are more regular and repeatable in patients with MS. These changes implied that patients with MS may exhibit reduced capacity to adapt and respond to perturbations during gait.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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