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Journal Article

Citation

Schell WE, Mar VS, Da Silva CP. NeuroRehabilitation 2019; 44(1): 85-93.

Affiliation

School of Physical Therapy, Texas Woman's University, Houston, TX, USA.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2019, IOS Press)

DOI

10.3233/NRE-182531

PMID

30714981

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Persons diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) often demonstrate neurological deficits that predispose them to repeated falls and associated adverse consequences. Determining contributing factors to falls in this population is critical to improve safety and patient outcomes.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to correlate clinical measures of gait speed, balance, strength, spasticity, and a self-reported rating scale of function with fall incidence in individuals with ALS.

METHODS: Thirty-one participants with a confirmed ALS diagnosis were recruited from an outpatient clinic. Each participant performed the following tests: timed gait speed, Berg Balance Scale (BBS), manual muscle testing (MMT) for lower extremity (LE) strength, Modified Ashworth Scale (MAS) for LE spasticity, and the ALS Functional Rating Scale-Revised (ALSFRS-R). Each participant reported number of falls that occurred in the past three months. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to determine correlations between variables.

RESULTS: Significant correlation was found between fall incidence and composite LE strength score (rp = 0.385, P = 0.032).

CONCLUSIONS: There is a relationship between LE weakness and number of falls in the ALS population. Preventing disuse-related LE muscle weakness and education of need for external support may decrease the number of falls experienced by individuals with ALS.


Language: en

Keywords

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale - Revised; Berg Balance Scale; falls; gait speed; spasticity; strength

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