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Multiple Sclerosis International
Volume 2015, Article ID 964790, 7 pages
Clinical Study

Stride-Time Variability and Fall Risk in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis

Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 906 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Received 6 September 2015; Accepted 10 December 2015

Academic Editor: Angelo Ghezzi

Copyright © 2015 Yaejin Moon 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.


Gait variability is associated with falls in clinical populations. However, gait variability’s link to falls in persons with Multiple Sclerosis (PwMS) is not well established. This investigation examined the relationship between stride-time variability, fall risk, and physiological fall risk factors in PwMS. 17 PwMS ( years) and 17 age-matched controls ( years) performed the 6-minute walk test. Stride-time was assessed with accelerometers attached to the participants’ shanks. Stride-time variability was measured by interstride coefficient of variation (CV) of stride-time. The participant’s fall risk was measured by the short form physiological profile assessment (PPA). A Spearman correlation analysis was used to determine the relationship between variables. Increased fall risk was strongly associated with increased stride-time CV in both PwMS (, ) and the controls (, ). Fall risk was not correlated with average stride-time (). In PwMS, stride-time CV was related to postural sway (, ) while in the control group, it was related to proprioception (, ) and postural sway (, ). Current observations suggest that gait variability is maybe more sensitive marker of fall risk than average gait parameters in PwMS. It was also noted that postural sway may be potentially targeted to modify gait variability in PwMS.