Quantitative measures detect sensory and motor impairments in multiple sclerosis.

Department of Neurology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, USA.
Journal of the neurological sciences (Impact Factor: 2.32). 03/2011; 305(1-2):103-11. DOI: 10.1016/j.jns.2011.03.003
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sensory and motor dysfunction in multiple sclerosis (MS) is often assessed with rating scales which rely heavily on clinical judgment. Quantitative devices may be more precise than rating scales.
To quantify lower extremity sensorimotor measures in individuals with MS, evaluate the extent to which they can detect functional systems impairments, and determine their relationship to global disability measures.
We tested 145 MS subjects and 58 controls. Vibration thresholds were quantified using a Vibratron-II device. Strength was quantified by a hand-held dynamometer. We also recorded Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and Timed 25-Foot Walk (T25FW). t-tests and Wilcoxon-rank sum were used to compare group data. Spearman correlations were used to assess relationships between each measure. We also used a step-wise linear regression model to determine how much the quantitative measures explain the variance in the respective functional systems scores (FSS).
EDSS scores ranged from 0-7.5, mean disease duration was 10.4 ± 9.6 years, and 66% were female. In relapsing-remitting MS, but not progressive MS, poorer vibration sensation correlated with a worse EDSS score, whereas progressive groups' ankle/hip strength changed significantly with EDSS progression. Interestingly, not only did sensorimotor measures significantly correlate with global disability measures (i.e., EDSS), but they had improved sensitivity, as they detected impairments in up to 32% of MS subjects with normal sensory and pyramidal FSS.
Sensory and motor deficits in MS can be quantified using clinically accessible tools and distinguish differences among MS subtypes. We show that quantitative sensorimotor measures are more sensitive than FSS from the EDSS. These tools have the potential to be used as clinical outcome measures in practice and for future MS clinical trials of neurorehabilitative and neuroreparative interventions.

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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the between-rater reliability of the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), 6-Minute Walk test (6MW), and handheld dynamometry (HHD) in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Previous studies that examined BBS and 6MW reliability in people with MS have not used more than two raters, or analyzed different mobility levels separately. The reliability of HHD has not been previously reported for people with MS. In this study, five physical therapists assessed eight people with MS using the BBS, 6MW, and HHD, resulting in 12 pairs of data. Data were analyzed using intraclass correlation coefficients (ICCs), Spearman correlation coefficients (SCCs), and Bland and Altman methods. The results suggest excellent agreement for the BBS (SCC = 0.95, mean difference between raters [d̄] = 2.08, standard error of measurement [SEM] = 1.77) and 6MW (ICC = 0.98, d̄ = 5.22 m, SEM = 24.76 m) when all mobility levels are analyzed together. Reliability is lower in less mobile people with MS (BBS SCC = 0.6, d̄ = -1.83; 6MW ICC = 0.95, d̄ = 20.04 m). Although the ICC and SCC results for HHD suggest good-to-excellent reliability (0.65-0.85), d̄ ranges up to 17.83 N, with SEM values as high as 40.95 N. While the small sample size is a limitation of this study, the preliminary evidence suggests strong agreement between raters for the BBS and 6MW and decreased agreement between raters for people with greater mobility problems. The mean differences between raters for HHD are probably too high for it to be applied in clinical practice.
    International journal of MS care. 04/2013; 15(1):1-6.
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    Journal of neuroimaging: official journal of the American Society of Neuroimaging 02/2014; · 1.82 Impact Factor
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    Physiotherapy Practice and Research. 01/2014; 35(2):75-86.

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