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The effect of balance training on postural control in people with MS using the CAREN virtual reality system: a pilot randomized controlled trial: STUDY























Image Source: LOSANGELESLAWYERSOURCE


Abstract

Background:
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a multi-focal progressive disorder of the central nervous system often resulting in diverse clinical manifestations. Imbalance appears in most people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). A popular balance training tool is virtual reality (VR) with several advantages including increased compliance and user satisfaction. Therefore, the aim of this pilot RCT (Trial registration number, date: ISRCTN14425615, 21/01/2016) was to examine the efficacy of a 6-week VR balance training program using the computer assisted rehabilitation environment (CAREN) system (Motek Medical BV, Amsterdam, Netherlands) on balance measures in PwMS. Results were compared with those of a conventional balance exercise group. Secondary aims included the impact of this program on the fear of falling.

Methods:
Thirty-two PwMS were equally randomized into the VR intervention group or the control group. Each group received balance training sessions for 6 consecutive weeks, two sessions per week, 30 min sessions. Clinical balance tests and instrumented posturography outcome measures were collected upon initiation of the intervention programs and at termination.

Results:
Final analysis included 30 patients (19 females, 11 males; mean age, (S.D.) = 45.2 (11.6) years; mean EDSS (S.D.) = 4.1 (1.3), mean disease duration (S.D.) = 11.0 (8.9) years). Both groups showed a main effect of time on the center of pressure (CoP) path length with eyes open (F = 5.278, P = .024), sway rate with eyes open (F = 5.852, P = .035), Functional Reach Test (F = 20.841, P = .001), Four Square Step Test (F = 9.011, P = .031) and the Fear of Falls self-reported questionnaire (F = 17.815, P = .023). In addition, significant differences in favor of the VR program were observed for the group x time interactions of the Functional Reach Test (F = 10.173, P = .009) and fear of falling (F = 6.710, P = .021).

Conclusions:
We demonstrated that balance training based on the CAREN device is an effective method of balance training for PwMS.

Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by JOURNALOFNEUROENGINEERINGANDREHABILITATION
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