Multiple Sclerosis Journal - Experimental, Translational and Clinical
Background: A sensitive test reflecting subtle sensorimotor changes throughout disease progression independent of mobility impairment is currently lacking in progressive multiple sclerosis.
Objectives: We examined non-ambulatory measures of upper and lower extremity sensorimotor function that may reveal differences between relapsing–remitting and progressive forms of multiple sclerosis.
Methods: Cutaneous sensitivity, proprioception, central motor function and mobility were assessed in 32 relapsing–remitting and 31 progressive multiple sclerosis patients and 30 non-multiple sclerosis controls.
Results: Cutaneous sensation differed between relapsing–remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis at the foot and to a lesser extent the hand. Proprioception function in the upper but not the lower extremity differed between relapsing–remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis, but was different for both upper and lower extremities between multiple sclerosis patients and non-multiple sclerosis controls. Foot-tap but not hand-tap speed was slower in progressive compared to relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis, suggestive of greater central motor function impairment in the lower extremity in progressive multiple sclerosis. In addition, the non-ambulatory sensorimotor measures were more sensitive in detecting differences between relapsing–remitting and progressive multiple sclerosis than mobility assessed with the 25-foot walk test. Conclusion: This study provides novel information about changes in sensorimotor function in progressive compared with relapsing–remitting forms of multiple sclerosis, and in particular the importance of assessing both upper and lower extremity function. Importantly, our findings showed loss of proprioceptive function in multiple sclerosis but also in progressive compared to relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis.
cutaneous sensation, progressive multiple sclerosis, proprioception, Relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis, tapping performance
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© The Author(s), 2020.
Miehm, Jules D.; Buonaccorsi, John; Lim, Jongil; Sato, Sumire; Rajala, Caitlin; Averill, Julianna; Khalighinejad, Farnaz; Ionete, Carolina; Jones, Stephanie L.; Kent, Jane A.; and van Emmerik, Richard E.A., "Sensorimotor Function in Progressive Multiple Sclerosis" (2020). Exercise and Sport Studies: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.