All About Multiple Sclerosis

More MS news articles for March 2003

Correlation between gait speed and muscle strength affected by proprioceptive loss in patients with MS

Feb 26, 2003

There is some correlation between gait speed and muscle strength in patients with undifferentiated multiple sclerosis (MS), researchers reported.

Investigators from the Rothschild Hospital in Paris evaluated gait and muscular function in 20 patients with unaided gait (expanded disability status scale <6). Study participants were separated into 2 groups based on the occurrence of somatosensory involvement. Eight patients were placed in the pyramidal group and 12 were placed in the sensory-pyramidal group. A control group of 10 healthy subjects matched by age, sex, height was used to evaluate gait parameters.

Researchers found that in both groups, gait speed was reduced and strongly related to hamstring peak torque but not with quadriceps peak torque.

The gait speed and peak torques of quadriceps and hamstrings were similar in the 2 groups.

However, in those subjects with proprioceptive loss there was both a strong correlation between gait speed and hamstring torque and a significant correlation with quadriceps torque.

A weak correlation or no correlation was found in the pyramidal group.

Study authors observed a higher contribution of both flexor and extensors of the lower limbs in the case of sensory loss.

[This suggests] that muscular compensation occurred in this situation to maintain gait speed, investigators concluded. These results are relevant to assess rehabilitation modalities in MS. (Thoumie P, and Mevellec E. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2002;73:313-5.)

© FWI 2003