BACKGROUND: The computerized stabilometric platform can be used and privileged over clinical scales, as self-administered questionnaires to asses postural control and balance evaluation in Multiple sclerosis (MS). Aim of our study was to evaluate static postural control assessed by Neurocom Balance Manager® through the modified Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction on Balance (mCTSIB) in relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), progressive MS (PMS) and CIS, compared to healthy controls (HC).
METHODS: We screened MS patients consecutively referring to our MS Center at University of Catania, during July 2013-June 2014 diagnosed as CIS, RRMS and PMS. All MS patients underwent clinical and neurological evaluations and a complete postural exam by Neurocom Balance Manager® in order to evaluate Center of Pressure (COP), through mCTSIB. We evaluated the following parameters: Total Path Length-open eyes (TPL-OE), Total Path Length-closed eyes (TPL-CE), Sway Area-open eyes (SA-OE), Sway Area-closed eyes (SA-CE), Mean sway velocity-open eyes (MSV-OE), Mean sway velocity-closed eyes (MSV-CE). Additionally, patients were tested by Berg balance scale (BBS) for balance and Barthel Index (BI) for disability outcomes.
RESULTS: Out of 170 MS patients assessed for eligibility, 163 met the inclusion/exclusion criteria and were finally enrolled. All balance parameters were found more impaired in MS group compared to controls and CIS. Moreover, no differences in terms of balance assessment were found between HC and CIS. The correlation analysis showed that BBS was strongly associated to SA-OE, SA-CE, TPL-OE and MSV-OE. We also found a correlation between BI and SA-CE.
CONCLUSION: Our study revealed significant differences among HCs, CIS and MS. MS, especially PMS, exhibit the worst balance performances especially in EC trials. The higher correlation between balance parameters, especially sway area, and BBS score confirmed the reliability and sensibility of mCTSIB assessment in evaluating static postural control in MS patients.