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Disabil Rehabil. 2013 Aug;35(17):1472-8. doi: 10.3109/09638288.2012.738760.

Gait characteristics of multiple sclerosis patients in the absence of clinical disability.

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Neurology Postgraduate Program, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.



Motor deficits in lower extremities and gait abnormalities are a major feature of the multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Patients with minimal clinical disability have subtle gait changes. The aim of this study was to analyze the gait characteristics of MS patients in the absence of clinical disability.


A case-control study was carried out with 12 MS patients and 12 matched healthy controls. The subjects underwent a clinical neurological evaluation to determine their disability level (EDSS ≤ 1.5). Then, the subjects were referred for completion self-report questionnaires (gait, perceived balance confidence, physical activity and fatigue), gait clinical trials, and 3D kinematic analysis.


MS patients showed more impairment of perceived fatigue, perceived of walking impact and perceived balance confidence, despite having no disability. Gait characteristics showed no differences when they were determined by clinical observation. The 3D kinematic analysis of gait showed slight but significant changes in ankle movement.


MS patients with no clinical disability have discrete changes in gait that can be evidenced by perceived impact on walking and kinematic evaluation, mainly of ankle movement. Moreover, there is a decrease in perceived balance confidence and an increase in perceived fatigue, which are correlated despite having different origins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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