Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 50 Number 2, 2013
   Pages 215 — 222

Abstract —  Bilateral differences in lower-limb performance in individuals with multiple sclerosis

Rebecca D. Larson, PhD;* Kevin K. McCully, PhD; Daniel J. Larson, PhD; William M. Pryor, MS; Lesley J. White, PhD

Department of Kinesiology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Abstract — Bilateral differences in lower-limb strength in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) have been clinically observed. The objectives of this study were to quantify bilateral differences in lower-limb performance and metabolism during exercise. Eight ambulatory individuals with mild MS with an Expanded Disability Status Scale score of 2.6 +/– 1.6 and seven non-MS controls completed bilateral assessments of muscle strength and incremental cycling. Individuals with MS had significant (p < 0.05) between-leg differences in leg strength (strong leg: 43.3 +/– 12.7 kg vs weak leg: 37.7 +/– 15.2 kg), peak oxygen uptake (strong leg: 13.7 +/– 3.2 mL/kg/min vs weak leg: 10.6 +/– 3.0 mL/kg/min), and peak workload (strong leg: 73.4 +/– 22.3 W vs weak leg: 56.3 +/– 26.2 W). No between-leg differences were found in controls (p > 0.05). As anticipated, individuals with MS exhibited significantly greater asymmetry for strength, oxygen uptake, and workload than controls (p < 0.05). The differences between legs varied from 2% to 30% for maximal strength and 4% to 66% for cycling workload in the MS group and 4% to 24% and 0% to 8% for the control group, respectively. Preliminary evidence suggests that the magnitude of differences may be related to limitations in aerobic function.

Key words: ambulatory, asymmetry, bilateral, cycling, leg performance, lower limb, multiple sclerosis, muscle, oxygen uptake, strength.


View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 50, No. 2
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
Larson RD, McCully KK, Larson DJ, Pryor WM, White LJ. Bilateral differences in lower-limb performance in individuals with multiple sclerosis. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2013;50(2):215–22.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1682/JRRD.2011.10.0189
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