BACKGROUND: Individuals with peripheral vestibulopathy are known to have difficulty with volitional head turns. This leads to differences in head and body turning kinematics, compared to those without vestibular dysfunction. Multiple sclerosis (MS), a neuro-inflammatory disease affecting the central nervous system, can cause vestibular dysfunction (dizziness, unsteadiness, gaze instability). However, head and trunk turning kinematics in people with MS (PwMS) have not been assessed.
RESEARCH QUESTION: Will PwMS, demonstrate head and body kinematics alterations similar to individuals with a peripheral dysfunction compared to vestibular healthy individuals?
METHODS: Eleven individuals with a recent vestibular schwannoma resection (VSR), fourteen PwMS, and 10 healthy control (HC) participants were fitted with head and trunk worn inertial measurement units (IMUs) and performed walking and turning tasks. Head and trunk peak turning speed and amplitude were extracted. Regression models controlling for gait speed were fit per outcome with post hoc corrections applied to significant models.
RESULTS: Yaw plane head turn speed and amplitude were significantly less in the VSR group compared to HC. Pitch plane head turn amplitude was significantly smaller in PwMS compared to HC (p = 0.04), however pitch plane speed did not differ between the groups. There was no difference between PwMS and the VSR group in yaw or pitch plane speed and amplitude. Both PwMS and the VSR group turned significantly slower than HC during the 180d body turn as measured at the head and trunk (head speed model p = 0.009 and <0.001; trunk speed model p < 0.001 for both groups) however the MS and VSR groups did not differ from each other.
SIGNIFICANCE: Turning kinematics while walking in PwMS are altered compared to HC and are similar to individuals with unilateral vestibular hypofunction. Centrally mediated vestibular dysfunction in PwMS may alter movement kinematics and should be considered during examination and treatment.
- Multiple sclerosis
- Vestibular disorder
- Biomechanical Phenomena/physiology
- Multiple Sclerosis/complications
- Postural Balance/physiology