Author(s): Busa MA, Jones SL, Hamill J, van Emmerik RE, Busa MA, Jones SL, Hamill J, van Emmerik RE
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Abstract Loss of postural center-of-pressure complexity (COP complexity) has been associated with reduced adaptability that accompanies disease and aging. The aim of this study was to identify if COP complexity is reduced: (1) in those with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) compared to controls; (2) when vision is limited compared to remaining intact; and (3) during more demanding postural conditions compared to quiet standing. Additionally, we explored the relationship between the COP complexity and disease severity, fatigue, cutaneous sensation and central motor drive. Twelve women with MS and 12 age-matched controls were tested under quiet standing and postural maximal lean conditions with normal and limited vision. The key dependent variable was the complexity index (CI) of the center of pressure. We observed a lower CI in the MS group compared to controls in both anterior-posterior (AP) and medio-lateral (ML) directions (p's<0.002), during the performance of maximal self-regulated leans (AP: p<0.001; ML: p=0.018), and under limited vision (AP: p=0.001; ML: p=0.006). No group-by-vision interaction (p>0.05) was observed, indicating that limiting vision did not impact COP complexity differently in the two groups. Decreased cutaneous sensitivity was associated with lower CI values in the AP direction among those with MS (r(2)=0.57); all other measures did not exhibit significant relationships. The findings reported here suggest that (1) MS is associated with diminished COP complexity under both normal and challenging postures, and (2) complexity is strongly correlated with cutaneous sensitivity, suggesting the unique contribution of impaired somatosensation on postural control deficits in persons with MS. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Gait Posture
and referenced in Journal of Multiple Sclerosis