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Old 04-24-2014, 01:10 PM
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Default STUDY: Improvement Of Gait Following Walking Based Long-Term Aerobic Exercise

Improvement Of Gait Following Walking Based Long-Term Aerobic Endurance Exercise In Mildly Disabled MS Patients

Stephan Schmidt2 and
Marc Wonneberger1
Neurology April 8, 2014 vol. 82 no. 10 Supplement P3.056

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: The long-term effects of walking based aerobic endurance exercise on gait stability have not yet been sufficiently investigated in MS patients.

BACKGROUND: Impaired balance and leg weakness are highly prevalent in MS patients often leading to falls. The aim of the present study was to investigate the impact of a 12 month walking based aerobic endurance exercise on gait parameters such as step length, cadence and contact time of feet on the ground.

DESIGN/METHODS: Prospective, case-control, observer-blinded, single-center trial including 60 patients with relapsing-remitting MS and an EDSS ≤ 3.5. All patients performed an individualized walking based aerobic exercise for 12 months. Control examinations using a modified Naughton treadmill protocol were performed every three months, camcorded in the sagittal plane and analyzed with regard to step length, cadence, and the contact time of feet on the ground at two different load steps (3.2 km/h with 3.5 % slope and 4.8 km/h with 7.0 % slope). ANOVA for repeated measurements was applied to examine the longitudinal changes over time. Patients were assigned to an exercise group (EG; n=44) or control group (CG; n=16) comprising drop-outs who agreed to participate as an internal control.

RESULTS: After 12 months the contact time of feet on the ground was significantly elevated in the EG for both load steps (p< .001, ƞp2= 0.2; p= .01, ƞp2= 0.1). The cadence was significantly lower in the EG at 3.2 km/h with 3.5 % slope (p< .001, ƞp2= 0.2). The step length increased significantly in the EG at 3.2 km/h with 3.5 % slope (p< .001, ƞp2= 0.15). No changes with regard to any of the analyzed gait parameters were detectable in the CG.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that a walking based aerobic endurance exercise may contribute to improved gait stability. Further research is needed to analyze the impact of walking exercise on gait parameters.
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