Intensive Neurorehabilitation and Gait Improvement in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis: Clinical, Kinematic and Electromyographic Analysis
Huang S-C., Guerrieri S., Dalla Costa G., Pisa M., Leccabue G., Gregoris L., Comi G., Leocani L.
Background: Gait deficit is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis and the walking capacity can be improved with neurorehabilitation. Technological advances in biomechanics offer opportunities to assess the effects of rehabilitation objectively. Objective: Combining wireless surface electromyography and wearable inertial sensors to assess and monitor the gait pattern before and after an intensive multidisciplinary neurorehabilitation program (44 h/4weeks) to evaluate rehabilitation efficiency. Methods: Forty people with progressive multiple sclerosis were enrolled. Wireless wearable devices were used to evaluate the gait. Instrumental gait analysis, clinical assessment, and patient report outcome measures were acquired before and after the neurorehabilitation. Spatiotemporal gait parameters, the co-activation index of lower limb muscles, and clinical assessments were compared pre- and post-treatment. Results: Significant improvements after intensive neurorehabilitation were found in most of the clinical assessments, cadence, and velocity of the instrumental gait analysis, paralleled by amelioration of thigh co-activation on the less-affected side. Subjects with better balance performance and higher independence at baseline benefit more from the neurorehabilitation course. Conclusions: Significant improvements in gait performance were found in our cohort after an intensive neurorehabilitation course, for both quantitative and qualitative measures. Integrating kinematic and muscle activity measurements offers opportunities to objectively evaluate and interpret treatment effects.