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ISRN Neurology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 316097, 4 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.5402/2012/316097
Clinical Study

Effects of Fatigue on Balance and Mobility in Subjects with Multiple Sclerosis: A Brief Report

LaRiCE: Gait and Balance Disorders Laboratory, Department of Neurorehabilitation, Don Gnocchi Foundation I.R.C.C.S. Via Capecelatro 66, 20148 Milano, Italy

Received 14 September 2012; Accepted 2 October 2012

Academic Editors: P. Annunziata, G. de Courten-Myers, H. Miyajima, Y. Ohyagi, and A. K. Petridis

Copyright © 2012 Elisa Gervasoni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Purpose. People with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) tent to have increased levels of fatigue which can impact on their balance and increase risk of falls. However, the relationship between fatigue and balance is poorly understood. The aim of the present study was to assess if an experimentally induced fatigue had an immediate effect on balance. Methods. 37 inpatients with multiple sclerosis were recruited; the mean age (standard deviation) was 48.7 (9.6) years. The average onset of the pathology was 15.3 (9.8) years before the start of the study. The median (1°–3° quartile) Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) score was 5.5 (4.5–6.0). Before and after a fatiguing treadmill, session, subjects were assessed with the Berg Balance Scale and Dynamic Gait Index. Results. After the treadmill, no statistically significant differences were found in balance before and after a treadmill session (monopodalic stance: before 5.3s (10.3) and after 7.7s (13.9); walk with horizontal head turns: before 11.6 (6.9) seconds and after 11.3 (7.7)). There was no correlation between the EDSS score and the difference in balance skills before and after treadmill. Conclusion. After treadmil PwMS were mentally and physically fatigued; however, their balance performance did not change, indicating no increase in risk of falling with fatigue.