Background: Spasticity is prevalent and disabling in MSers, and the development of the Multiple Sclerosis Spasticity Scale-88 (MSSS-88) provides an opportunity for examining the perceived impact of spasticity and its association with gait in this population.
Purpose: This study examined the association between the perceived impact of spasticity and spatio-temporal parameters of gait in persons with MS.
Methods: The sample included 44 adults with MS who completed the MSSS-88 and 4 walking trials on a 26-foot GAITRite(TM) electronic walkway for measurement of spatio-temporal components of gait including velocity, cadence, base of support, step time, single support, double support, and swing phase.
Results: The overall MSSS-88 score was significantly associated with velocity (r = -0.371), cadence (r = -0.306), base of support (r = 0.357), step time (r = 0.305), single leg support (r = -0.388), double leg support (r = 0.379), and swing phase (r = -0.386).
Conclusions: The perceived impact of spasticity coincides with alterations of the spatio-temporal parameters of gait in MS. This indicates that subsequent interventions might target a decrease in spasticity or its perceived impact as an approach for improving mobility in MS.
“This study is important in that it helps validate the MSSS-88. At present we use the Ashworth scale of assessing spasticity. It is not very good and is in fact preventing us testing new or novel anti-spastic agents. MSers with spasticity are fully aware of the problem in relation to current anti-spastic agents; wearing off, the rag-doll effect, excessive sedation, cognitive impairment, etc.”
“It is one of our aims to get a new improved anti-spastic agent to you ASAP.”