Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 518-523

Anteroposterior stability: A determinant of gait dysfunction and falls in spinocerebellar ataxia

National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Pramod Kumar Pal
Department of Neurology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), Bangalore, Karnataka - 560 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aian.AIAN_1090_20

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Background: Establishing an association between gait variability and direction specific balance indices may help in identifying the risk of falls in patients with spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) which may help in developing an appropriate intervention. This study is intended to identify the association between balance and gait parameters especially gait variability in these patients. Methods: Patients with genetically confirmed SCA (n = 24) as well as controls (n = 24) who met the study criteria were recruited. Gait was assessed using the GAITRite system and balance was assessed using dynamic posturography (Biodex) to record direction-specific dynamic balance indices. Disease severity was assessed using international cooperative ataxia rating scale (ICARS). Results: The mean age of the SCA group (38.83 ± 13.03 years) and the control group (36.38 ± 9.09 years) were comparable. The age of onset of illness was 32 ± 10.62 years and duration of 5.67 ± 3.62 years. The mean ICARS was 45.10 ± 16.75. There was a significant difference in the overall balance index (OBI), anterior–posterior index (API), medial/lateral index (MLI) between SCA patients (4.56 ± 2.09, 3.49 ± 1.88, 2.94 ± 1.32) and the controls (2.72 ± 1.25, 2.08 ± 0.85, 1.85 ± 0.97). However, correlation was observed only between gait stability and balance parameters in API direction. Conclusions: There was an increased anteroposterior oriented balance deficit in patients with SCA, which was significantly correlating with the gait parameters. The balance training intervention may focus on improving anteroposterior direction to prevent falls and improving walking efficiency.

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