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J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2013 Jul 2;10:65. doi: 10.1186/1743-0003-10-65.

Changes of gait pattern in children with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A: a 18 months follow-up study.

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Biomedical Technology Department, Don Carlo Gnocchi Foundation Onlus IRCCS, Milan, Italy.



In a previous study we identified 3 different gait patterns in a group of children with CMT1A disease: Normal-like (NL), Foot-drop (FD), Foot-drop and Push-off Deficit (FD&POD). Goal of the present study was to perform a follow-up evaluation of the same group of patients to analyze possible changes of gait features in relation to disease progression or specific therapy.


Nineteen children with CMT1A were evaluated clinically (CMT-Examination Score and Overall Neuropathy Limitation Scale) and through gait analysis 18.2±1.5 months after a baseline evaluation. Meanwhile, 3 of them had foot surgery.


Fifteen out of the 16 non-operated patients significantly changed at least one of the two parameters associated to primary signs (FD and/or POD). Eleven participants worsened at least one parameter and 9 improved one parameter. CMTES significantly worsened for the group of non-operated patients. However, there was no change in CMTES score in 4 patients and in ONLS score in 11. At subgroup level, participants originally belonging to NL group showed a trend towards a foot-drop deficit (-15%, ns); FD and FD&POD subgroups did not change their primary signs, although significant changes were identified individually. All 3 patients operated have improved push-off and proximal joint patterns during walking. Clinical scores did not change within any sub-group.


Subtle changes occurring in 1.5 year in gait features of CMT1A children can be instrumentally identified. Such changes show a large inter-subject variability, with some patients even improving their walking pattern. There is anecdotal evidence that foot surgery may improve the push-off phase of gait.

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