Sensori-motor Integration Training in Multiple Sclerosis

2014-07-24 14:10:29 | BioPortfolio


Balance impairment is a common and very disabling disturbance in people with Multiple Sclerosis. The efficacy of pharmacotherapy in treating balance impairment in MS is poorly documented in literature. Although literature dealing with the rehabilitation of balance impairment in MS is very scant, the preliminary data reports show very promising results. The present project could have a positive impact on balance and gait ability, disability, fear of falling, risk of falls and quality of life of patients with Multiple Sclerosis.


Balance impairment is one of the primary causes of disability in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). It increases the risk of falls and contributes to the development of fear of falling (FOF), a vicious cycle that leads to a limitation in daily life activities. The imbalance could be caused by motor and sensorial deficits as well as sensory-motor integration deficits. Despite the disability that balance disorders cause, literature about its' rehabilitation is very scant. To our knowledge two studies have been published on MS balance rehabilitation. The first paper described case reports on MS balance rehabilitation using the "Bobath" approach. The second paper performed a preliminary randomized controlled study describing the effectiveness in restoring balance control and reducing risk of falling using a specific training program aimed at improving sensory-motor integration in people with MS. Considering the several limitations of this study, further trials are warranted to assess the usefulness of specific sensory-motor training on balance impairment in people with MS. The aim of this randomised controlled double blinded clinical trial is to evaluate whether a training program consisting of exercises performed under different sensory conflict conditions can lead to an improvement in postural stability in patients with MS. This in turn might lead to an improvement in walking ability, autonomy in daily life activities and quality of life in people with MS.

The study will include 80 patients (age<65 years) with a diagnosis of MS relapsing remitted according to the McDonald criteria and with an Expanded Disability Status Scale score≤6.0. Patients will be divided into 2 groups, according to a randomization design. The experimental group will undergo a specific training program aimed at increasing balance ability in several sensory conflict conditions. The training program will consist of fifteen 50-minute sessions over a 5 week period (3 sessions/week). The control group will undergo conventional neurorehabilitation treatment following the same pattern of sessions as the study group. At recruitment, after treatment (5 weeks) and in the follow-up (1 month), each patient will be tested with the following clinical and instrumental procedures: Berg Balance Scale, Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale, Fatigue Severity Scale, Postural Transfers evaluation, Multiple Sclerosis Quality Of Life (MSQOL)-54 instrument, Sensory Organization Test, GAITRite® System and platform stabilometry.

Data will be examined at first reassessment for between group differences. Data from the second reassessment will be analysed for within group differences. Sample characteristics will be summarised using descriptive statistics. Due to the small sample size, non-parametric tests will be applied: Wilcoxon's signed ranks test for within group comparisons and the Mann-withney U test for between group comparisons, both with significance set at p=0.05. Data will be analysed using SPSS v16 software.

Study Design

Allocation: Randomized, Control: Active Control, Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study, Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment, Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Outcomes Assessor), Primary Purpose: Treatment


Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis


Sensory-motor Integration Training, Conventional neurorehabilitation treatment


S.S.O. di Riabilitazione dell'Ospedale Policlinico


Active, not recruiting


Universita di Verona

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-07-24T14:10:29-0400

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