Despite the ubiquitous nature of gait impairment in multiple sclerosis (MS), there is limited information concerning the control of gait termination in individuals with MS. The purpose of this investigation was to examine planned gait termination in individuals with MS and healthy controls with and without cognitive distractors. Individuals with MS and age matched controls completed a series of gait termination tasks over a pressure sensitive walkway under non-distracting and cognitively distracting conditions. As expected the MS group had a lower velocity (89.9. ± 33.3. cm/s) than controls (142.8. ± 22.4. cm/s) and there was a significant reduction in velocity in both groups under the cognitive distracting conditions (MS: 73.9. ± 30.7 cm/s; control: 120.0 ± 25.9 cm/s). Although individuals with MS walked slower, there was no difference between groups in the rate a participant failed to stop at the target (i.e. failure rate). Overall failure rate had a 10-fold increase in the cognitively distracting condition across groups. Individuals with MS were more unstable during termination. Future research examining the neuromuscular mechanisms contributing to gait termination is warranted.
- Gait termination
- Multiple Sclerosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine