Neuroplasticity of the sensorimotor neural network associated with walking aid training in people with multiple sclerosis

Brett Fling, Douglas N. Martini, Eline Zeeboer, Andrea Hildebrand, Michelle Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this pilot study was to identify neural descriptors and correlates of participation in a multicomponent walking aid program, the Assistive Device Selection, Training and Education Program (ADSTEP), in people with multiple sclerosis, as reflected by resting state functional MRI. Fourteen people with multiple sclerosis who used a walking aid at baseline and reported falling at least once in the prior year were recruited from the multiple sclerosis clinic in a Veterans Affairs and the surrounding community to participate in a trial of ADSTEP, a multicomponent program of walking aid selection, fitting and six weekly progressive task-oriented walking aid training sessions and undergo resting state functional brain MRI. The functional MRI was performed at baseline and at program completion to assess for changes in neural connectivity of the sensorimotor neural network. Compared to baseline, following ADSTEP participation, functional connectivity between the supplementary motor areas and both the primary somatosensory cortices and the putamen was increased; whereas functional connectivity between the supplementary motor areas and the cerebellum was decreased. This study provides preliminary support for supraspinal sensorimotor neuroplasticity in response to rehabilitation interventions such as task-oriented walking aid training, suggests specific neural targets for future mobility interventions, and supports the need for full-scale randomized controlled trials in this area.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
JournalMultiple sclerosis and related disorders
Volume31
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019

Keywords

  • Balance
  • Functional mobility
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Physical therapy
  • Resting state functional MRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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