Walking and talking in multiple sclerosis: an investigation of cognitive-motor dual tasking
and clinical research portfolio.
D Clin Psy thesis, University of Glasgow.
Full text available as:
Problems with walking and attention are known to be prevalent in Multiple Sclerosis (MS), though no studies have reported how these two difficulties might interact. The study aimed to investigate the effects of performing a concurrent cognitive task when walking in MS and determine the effects of task demand on dual-task performance. Eighteen MS participants and 18 healthy controls took part. Participants completed walking and cognitive tasks under single and dual task conditions. MS participants, compared to healthy controls, had greater decrements in dual-task performance; including decrements in cognitive task performance, walking speed and swing time variability. Dual-task decrements were evident in titrated and fixed demand conditions. Dual-task decrements were related to fatigue, cognitive functioning and self-reported cognitive errors, but not to measures of disease severity or duration. MS participants perform differentially poorly on walking and talking dual-tasks compared to healthy controls. This may lead to difficulties in everyday life and increase the risk of falls in MS. Clinicians should independently assess dual-task walking in MS patients. The role of task demand in dual-tasking decrements remains unclear and needs further investigation. Future studies should replicate the current findings and develop practical clinical tools to assess walking and talking ability.
Actions (login required)