Implications of lower extremity muscle power and force for walking and fatigability in multiple sclerosis – An exploratory pilot-study

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  • Cintia Ramari, Universidade de Brasilia, Hasselt University
  • ,
  • Lars G. Hvid, The Danish MS Hospitals
  • ,
  • Ulrik Dalgas
  • Ana R. Diniz, Universidade de Brasilia
  • ,
  • Felipe von Glehn, Universidade de Brasilia
  • ,
  • Ana C. de David, Universidade de Brasilia

Background: Limitations in physical function are common in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), yet it is neither clear how muscle power implicates physical function and walking-fatigability. This pilot-study aims to investigate (1) deficits in muscle power/force alongside walking in persons with MS; (2) associations between muscle power/force and physical functions and (3) the impact of prolonged walking in muscle power/force. Methods: 30 relapse-remitting persons with MS and 28 healthy controls performed chair rise and plantar flexion on a force platform before and after 12-minutes of intermittent walking to measure lower extremity muscle power/force. GaitRite measured walking speed. The percentage change in distance walked was also calculated. Persons with MS were classified into subgroups according to walking-fatigability and mobility disability status (Patient Determined Disease Steps). Findings: Higher deficits in muscle power compared to force were observed in persons with MS vs. healthy controls particularly in persons with MS having higher disability. Muscle power and force were associated with walking capacity, mobility disability and subjective fatigue, but not with percentage change in distance walked. Persons with MS slowed down over the course of the 12-min intermittent walking, whereas decrements in walking speed and muscle power/force (derived from chair rise) were observed in persons with MS presenting walking-fatigability only. Interpretation: Muscle power and force are impaired in persons with MS and appear to be critical for physical function in MS. This exploratory pilot study further suggests that muscle power/force from chair rise could contributes to walking-fatigability which therefore offer future treatment targets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105668
JournalClinical Biomechanics
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Elsevier Ltd

    Research areas

  • Disability, Fatigue, Functional capacity, Multiple sclerosis, Muscle function, Walking

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