Impaired local dynamic stability during treadmill walking predicts future falls in patients with multiple sclerosis: A prospective cohort study

Shirin Tajali, Mohammad Mehravar*, Hossein Negahban, Jaap H. van Dieën, Mohammad Jafar Shaterzadeh-Yazdi, Razieh Mofateh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Falling is a significant problem in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and the majority of falls occur during dynamic activities. Recently, there have been evidences focusing on falls and local stability of walking based on dynamic system theory in the elderly as well as patients with cerebral concussion. However, in patient with MS, this relationship has not been fully investigated. The aim of this study was to investigate local stability of walking as a risk factor for falling in patients with MS. Methods: Seventy patients were assessed while walking at their preferred speed on a treadmill under single and dual task conditions. A cognitive task (backward counting) was used to assess the importance of dual tasking to fall risk. Trunk kinematics were collected using a cluster marker over the level of T7 and a 7-camera motion capture system. To quantify local stability of walking, maximal finite-time Lyapunov exponent was calculated from a 12-dimensional state space reconstruction based on 3-dimensional trunk linear and angular velocity time series. Participants were classified as fallers (≥1) and non-fallers based on their prospective fall occurrence. Findings: 30 (43%) participants recorded ≥1 falls and were classified as fallers. The results of multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that short-term local dynamic stability in the single task condition (P < 0.05, odds ratio = 2.214 (1.037–4.726)) was the significant fall predictor. Interpretation: The results may indicate that the assessment of local stability of walking can identify patients who would benefit from gait retraining and fall prevention programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-201
Number of pages5
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Volume67
Early online date9 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

Keywords

  • Falling
  • Local dynamic stability
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Risk factor

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