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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2013, Article ID 875648, 8 pages
Research Article

Factors for Lower Walking Speed in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis

1Neurology Postgraduate Program of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro State, Rua Mariz e Barros 775, 20270-004 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Rio de Janeiro, Rua Professor Carlos Wenceslau, 343, 21715-000 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
3Departamento de Neurologia, Physical Therapy of Gaffrée e Guinle University Hospital, Rua Mariz e Barros 775, 20270-004 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
4National Cancer Institute (INCA), Praça Cruz Vermelha, 23, 20230-130 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Received 30 October 2012; Revised 27 January 2013; Accepted 12 March 2013

Academic Editor: Ellen M. Mowry

Copyright © 2013 Leandro Alberto Calazans Nogueira 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.


Objective. The purpose of this study was to analyze factors related to lower walking speed in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Methods. A cross-sectional survey was conducted. The study participants were 120 consecutive PwMS, who were able to walk, even with device assistance. Demographic and clinical data were collected. Walking speed was measured in 10 m walk test. Possible factors were assessed: disability, fatigue, visual functioning, balance confidence, physical activity level, walking impact, cognitive interference, and motor planning. A forward linear multiple regression analysis examined the correlation with lower speed. Results. Lower walking speed was observed in 85% of the patients. Fatigue (41%), recurrent falls (30%), and balance problems were also present, even with mild disability (average ). A good level of physical activity was noted in most of the subjects. Dual-task procedure revealed 11.58% of walking speed reduction. Many participants (69.57%) imagined greater walking speed than motor execution (mean ≥ 28.42%). Physical activity level was the only characteristic that demonstrated no significant difference between the groups (lower versus normal walking speed). Many mobility measures were correlated with walking speed; however, disability, balance confidence, and motor planning were the most significant. Conclusions. Disability, balance confidence, and motor planning were correlated with lower walking speed.