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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 948674, 9 pages
Research Article

Ankylosing Spondylitis and Posture Control: The Role of Visual Input

1Department of Translational Research and Knowledge Management, Otto Bock HealthCare GmbH, 37115 Duderstadt, Germany
2Rheumatology and Rehabilitation ResearchUnit, “Salvatore Maugeri” Foundation I.R.C.C.S., Scientific Institute of Telese Terme, Via Bagni Vecchi 1, 82037 Telese Terme, Italy
3Department of Cardiology, “Salvatore Maugeri” Foundation I.R.C.C.S., Scientific Institute of Telese Terme, Via Bagni Vecchi 1, 82037 Telese Terme, Italy
4Rehabilitation Research Unit, “Salvatore Maugeri” Foundation I.R.C.C.S., Scientific Institute of Cassano delle Murge, Via Mercadante 2, 70020 Cassano delle Murge, Italy
5Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University Federico II, Via Sergio Pansini 5, 80131 Naples, Italy

Received 2 May 2014; Accepted 9 August 2014

Academic Editor: Alessia Rabini

Copyright © 2015 Alessandro Marco De Nunzio 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.


Objectives. To assess the motor control during quiet stance in patients with established ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and to evaluate the effect of visual input on the maintenance of a quiet posture. Methods. 12 male AS patients (mean age 50.1 ± 13.2 years) and 12 matched healthy subjects performed 2 sessions of 3 trials in quiet stance, with eyes open (EO) and with eyes closed (EC) on a baropodometric platform. The oscillation of the centre of feet pressure (CoP) was acquired. Indices of stability and balance control were assessed by the sway path (SP) of the CoP, the frequency bandwidth (FB1) that includes the 80% of the area under the amplitude spectrum, the mean amplitude of the peaks (MP) of the sway density curve (SDC), and the mean distance (MD) between 2 peaks of the SDC. Results. In severe AS patients, the MD between two peaks of the SDC and the SP of the center of feet pressure were significantly higher than controls during both EO and EC conditions. The MP was significantly reduced just on EC. Conclusions. Ankylosing spondylitis exerts negative effect on postural stability, not compensable by visual inputs. Our findings may be useful in the rehabilitative management of the increased risk of falling in AS.