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J Neurol Sci. 2013 Dec 15;335(1-2):186-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jns.2013.09.029. Epub 2013 Sep 29.

Postural control, falls and fear of falling in people with multiple sclerosis without mobility aids.

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Multiple Sclerosis Center, Center of Advanced Technologies in Rehabilitation, Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, Israel. Electronic address:


The purpose of the study was to determine the relationship between static postural control parameters to fear of falling and falling history in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) without mobility assistive devices. One-hundred and seven relapsing-remitting patients diagnosed with MS, 62 women aged 42.8 (S.D.=12.0), participated in this investigation. Participants were divided into groups based on fall history; 47 had no history during the past 6 months and 60 had a history of at least one fall within the same period. Static postural control parameters were obtained from the Zebris FDM-T Treadmill (zebris® Medical GmbH, Germany). The patient's self-reported questionnaire, the Falls Efficacy Scale International (FES-I), was used to assess the level of concern relating to falls. People with MS classified as fallers exhibited increased center of pressure (CoP) path length, sway velocity and greater overall sway area. CoP path length performed with eyes open was found to explain 42% of the variance related to at least one fall during the past six months; R(2)=0.424, χ(2)(1)=40.727, P<0.01. The correlation between the FES-I and CoP path length was 0.620 (P<0.001). Measurement of the CoP trajectories with instrumented posturography should be considered in managing fall risk in the MS population.


Balance; Center of pressure; Falls; Fear of falling; Multiple sclerosis; Postural control

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