A multi-modal virtual reality treadmill intervention for enhancing mobility and cognitive function in people with multiple sclerosis: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial

K. L. Hsieh, A. Mirelman, S. Shema-Shiratzky, I. Galperin, K. Regev, S. Shen, T. Schmitz-Hübsch, A. Karni, F. Paul, H. Devos, J. J. Sosnoff, J. M. Hausdorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Gait and cognitive impairments are common in individuals with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and can interfere with everyday function. Those with MS have difficulties executing cognitive tasks and walking simultaneously, a reflection of dual-task interference. Therefore, dual-task training may improve functional ambulation. Additionally, using technology such as virtual reality can provide personalized rehabilitation while mimicking real-world environments. The purpose of this randomized controlled trial is to establish the benefits of a combined cognitive-motor virtual reality training on MS symptoms compared to conventional treadmill training. Methods: This study will be a single-blinded, two arm RCT with a six-week intervention period. 144 people with MS will be randomized into a treadmill training alone group or treadmill training with virtual reality group. Both groups will receive 18 sessions of training while walking on a treadmill, with the virtual reality group receiving feedback from the virtual system. Primary outcome measures include dual-task gait speed and information processing speed, which will be measured prior to training, one-week post-training, and three months following training. Discussion: This study will provide insight into the ability of a multi-modal cognitive-motor intervention to reduce dual-task cost and to enhance information processing speed in those with MS. This is one of the first studies that is powered to understand whether targeted dual-task training can improve MS symptoms and increase functional ambulation. We anticipate that those in the virtual reality group will have a significantly greater increase in dual-task gait speed and information processing speed than those achieved via treadmill training alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106122
JournalContemporary Clinical Trials
Volume97
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2020

Keywords

  • Dual-task
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)

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