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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2014, Article ID 450420, 9 pages
Research Article

Impaired Object Handling during Bimanual Task Performance in Multiple Sclerosis

1Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Houston, 3855 Holman Street, Garrison 104U, Houston, TX 77204, USA
2Centers for Neuromotor and Biomechanics Research and Neuro-Engineering and Cognitive Science, University of Houston, Houston, TX 77204, USA
3Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4904, USA
4Cleveland FES Center, Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA

Received 13 March 2014; Revised 12 June 2014; Accepted 14 June 2014; Published 6 August 2014

Academic Editor: Wolfgang Bruck

Copyright © 2014 Stacey L. Gorniak 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.


We investigated the kinetic features of manual dexterity and fine motor control during a task that resembles an activity of daily living in 30 persons with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Specifically, a novel two-transducer system was used to measure time and grip-load forces during a bimanual task that is similar to opening and closing a jar. We hypothesized that PwMS would have increased grip force production, deteriorations in kinetic timing, and preserved grip-load coupling indices compared to healthy controls (i.e., young and older adults). Increased grip force production and deterioration in timing indices were confirmed in PwMS. Abnormal grip-load coupling was exhibited by PwMS, in contrast to healthy participants. The correlation between task time and self-reported disability scores suggests that objective measurement of impaired upper-extremity movements relates to perception of overall function.