An increased energy cost of walking has been reported in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). This could be a major cause of a frequent complaint, namely abnormal fatigue that leads to functional limitations in daily living performances. The aim of this study was to investigate the energy cost of walking in a group of MS patients mildly or not disabled, with or without signs of pyramidal involvement. Metabolic parameters of treadmill walking at 7 selected velocities (2-5 km/h) were investigated in 6 MS patients, and compared with a control group of 6 healthy subjects matched for sex, age and life-style. Respiratory and heart rate at increasing speeds were on average higher among patients; energy cost of walking was increased in 5 out of 6 patients, and the minimum mean value was nearly one and half times higher than that of the control group, with greater differences at higher speeds. The cost-speed function of the patients shows an optimum cost at a lower velocity than was observed for healthy volunteers (3 vs 3.5 km/h). An abnormally high cost of walking can therefore be revealed very soon in the course of the disease and seems not to be strictly related to clinical signs of pyramidal involvement. The authors suggest a standard treadmill protocol as a source of complementary information providing a more complete picture of the impairments for long term functional follow-up of the patient.
|Translated title of the contribution||Energy cost of walking in patients with multiple sclerosis|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 1995|
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