Research on MS, gait to lead to more effective fall prevention

June 23, 2020
People who are diagnosed with multiple sclerosis often experience difficulty in maintaining body balance while walking and are at a greater risk of falling. Researchers at Georgia State University conducted a study to better understand gait stability for people with MS and use this knowledge to design more effective interventions for preventing falls.

Twenty people diagnosed with MS and 25 healthy individuals participated in the study, which used an eight-camera system to capture data on each participant as they walked a designated 7.5-meter distance three times. Their results show people with MS demonstrate a more cautious walking pattern and took shorter steps to accommodate their slow gait speed and maintain their balance.

This research has meaningful implications for doctors and other health care professionals who work with people diagnosed with MS. The researchers said the study leads to the understanding that step length and foot landing angle are two significant factors for maintaining body dynamic balance in people with MS, making them two targets for gait rehabilitation.

The study was published in the Journal of Biomechanics.

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