Primary Faculty Mentor Name

Dr. Susan Kasser

Project Collaborators

Connor Moore, Emily Bean

Secondary Mentor NetID

rmcginnis

Secondary Mentor Name

Dr. Ryan McGinnis

Status

Undergraduate

Student College

College of Nursing and Health Sciences

Program/Major

Exercise Science

Primary Research Category

Health Sciences

Presentation Title

The Acute Effects of Axial Loading on Postural Control During Functional Activities in People with Multiple Sclerosis

Time

1:00 PM

Location

Silver Maple Ballroom - Health Sciences

Abstract

Background: Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) often experience impaired motor, sensory, visual, and autonomic systems, which are heavily involved in postural control, proprioception, and balance. Much research has been done to identify interventions that can mitigate specific impairments and decrease fall risk in this population. Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the acute effects of non-specifically placed axial loads on indicators of balance in people with MS.Methods: Twelve subjects with MS completed two functional movements, sit-to-stand and walking with turns, while wearing weighted vests with 0%, 2%, 4%, 5%, and then 0% of their body weight. Except for the 0% pre and 0% post conditions, vest weight was randomized across subjects to control for order effects. Balance control parameters were measured using wireless inertial sensors placed on both feet, wrists, the sternum, and the lumbar spine. Results: A significant main effect was found in multiple gait parameters. Cadence and gait speed increased by 3.51% (p= 0.005) and 6.53% (p=0.023) respectively over the trial conditions. In addition, double support time decreased by 5.51% (p=0.043) and stride length increased by 3.10% (p=0.045). There were no significant changes in any variables for the sit-to-stand task. Conclusion: This study provided preliminary data on the beneficial acute effects of axial loading on people with MS. Observed changes may likely be due to the increased sensory and proprioceptive stimulus provided by the weighted vest during movement. This study offers insight into axial loading as a potential intervention for ameliorating balance deficits in people with the disease, although more research is needed to determine the exact mechanisms underlying balance changes and any possible long-term benefit.

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The Acute Effects of Axial Loading on Postural Control During Functional Activities in People with Multiple Sclerosis

Background: Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) often experience impaired motor, sensory, visual, and autonomic systems, which are heavily involved in postural control, proprioception, and balance. Much research has been done to identify interventions that can mitigate specific impairments and decrease fall risk in this population. Purpose: The aim of this study was to determine the acute effects of non-specifically placed axial loads on indicators of balance in people with MS.Methods: Twelve subjects with MS completed two functional movements, sit-to-stand and walking with turns, while wearing weighted vests with 0%, 2%, 4%, 5%, and then 0% of their body weight. Except for the 0% pre and 0% post conditions, vest weight was randomized across subjects to control for order effects. Balance control parameters were measured using wireless inertial sensors placed on both feet, wrists, the sternum, and the lumbar spine. Results: A significant main effect was found in multiple gait parameters. Cadence and gait speed increased by 3.51% (p= 0.005) and 6.53% (p=0.023) respectively over the trial conditions. In addition, double support time decreased by 5.51% (p=0.043) and stride length increased by 3.10% (p=0.045). There were no significant changes in any variables for the sit-to-stand task. Conclusion: This study provided preliminary data on the beneficial acute effects of axial loading on people with MS. Observed changes may likely be due to the increased sensory and proprioceptive stimulus provided by the weighted vest during movement. This study offers insight into axial loading as a potential intervention for ameliorating balance deficits in people with the disease, although more research is needed to determine the exact mechanisms underlying balance changes and any possible long-term benefit.