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Int J Neurosci. 1997 Nov;92(1-2):95-102.

Treatment with electromagnetic fields improves dual-task performance (talking while walking) in multiple sclerosis.

Author information

1
Department of Neuroscience, Touro College, Dix Hills, NY 11746, USA.

Abstract

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is associated with an increased risk of falling resulting from visual disturbances, difficulties with gait and balance, apraxia of gait and peripheral neuropathy. These factors often interact synergistically to compromise the patient's gait stability. It has long been recognized that walking involves a cognitive component and that simultaneous cognitive and motor operations (dual-task) such as talking while walking may interfere with normal ambulation. Talking while walking reflects an example of a dual-task which is frequently impaired in MS patients. Impaired dual-task performance during walking may compromise the patient's gait and explain why in some circumstances, MS patients unexpectedly lose their balance and fall. Frontal lobe dysfunction, which commonly occurs in MS patients, may disrupt dual-task performance and increase the risk of falling in these patients. This report concerns a 36 old man with remitting-progressive MS with an EDSS score of 5.5 who experienced marked increase in spasticity in the legs and trunk and worsening of his gait and balance, occasionally resulting in falling, when talking while walking. His gait and balance improved dramatically after he received two successive transcranial treatments, each of 45 minutes, with AC pulsed electromagnetic fields (EMFs) of 7.5 picotesla flux density. Simultaneously, there was improvement in dual-task performance to the extent that talking while walking did not adversely affect his ambulation. In addition, neuropsychological testing revealed an almost 5-fold increase in word output on the Thurstone's Word-Fluency Test, which is sensitive to frontal lobe dysfunction. It is suggested that facilitation of dual-task performance during ambulation contributes to the overall improvement of gait and balance observed in MS patients receiving transcranial treatment with AC pulsed EMFs.

PMID:
9522259
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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