Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating and disabling disease which primarily affects individuals in their early life between 20 and 40 years of age. MS is a complex condition, which may lead to a variety of upper limb (UL) dysfunctions and functional deficits. Objective: To explore upper limb impairments at body function, activity, and participation in persons with MS (PwMS) and severe hand dexterity impairment by behavioral and surface electromyography (sEMG) assessments. Methods: This observational cross-sectional study involved 41 PwMS with severe hand dexterity impairment stratified according to the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) into mild-moderate (n = 17; EDSS, 1-5.5), severe ambulant (n = 15; EDSS, 6-6.5), and severe nonambulant (n = 9; EDSS, 7-9.5). Behavioral outcome measures exploring body function, activity, and participation were administered. The sEMG activity of six upper limb muscles of the most affected side was measured during a reaching task. Results: The most severe group was significantly older and more affected by secondary progressive MS than the other two groups. Positive significant associations between UL deterioration and impairments at different International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health domains were noted in the most severe group. The progressive decline in manual dexterity was moderately to strongly associated with the deterioration of the overall UL activity (ρ = 0.72; p < 0.001) and disuse (amount of use ρ = 0.71; p < 0.001; quality of movement ρ = 0.77; p < 0.001). There was a low correlation between manual dexterity and UL function (ρ = 0.33; p = 0.03). The muscle activation pattern investigated by sEMG was characterized by a decrease in modularity and timing delay in the wrist extensor muscles activation in the severe ambulant patients (EDSS, 6-6.5). Similar impairments were observed in the proximal muscles (anterior deltoid) in the more advanced stages (EDSS ≥ 7). Conclusion: Behavioral assessment, together with measures of muscle activation patterns, allows investigating the pathophysiology of UL impairments in PwMS across progressive neurological disability severity to implement task-specific rehabilitation interventions.

Characterization of Upper Limb Impairments at Body Function, Activity, and Participation in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis by Behavioral and EMG Assessment: A Cross-Sectional Study

Valè, Nicola;Gandolfi, Marialuisa
;
Dimitrova, Eleonora Kirilova;Gajofatto, Alberto;Filippetti, Mirko;De Paoli, Carola;Picelli, Alessandro;Corradi, Jessica;Chemello, Elena;Smania, Nicola
2020

Abstract

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating and disabling disease which primarily affects individuals in their early life between 20 and 40 years of age. MS is a complex condition, which may lead to a variety of upper limb (UL) dysfunctions and functional deficits. Objective: To explore upper limb impairments at body function, activity, and participation in persons with MS (PwMS) and severe hand dexterity impairment by behavioral and surface electromyography (sEMG) assessments. Methods: This observational cross-sectional study involved 41 PwMS with severe hand dexterity impairment stratified according to the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) into mild-moderate (n = 17; EDSS, 1-5.5), severe ambulant (n = 15; EDSS, 6-6.5), and severe nonambulant (n = 9; EDSS, 7-9.5). Behavioral outcome measures exploring body function, activity, and participation were administered. The sEMG activity of six upper limb muscles of the most affected side was measured during a reaching task. Results: The most severe group was significantly older and more affected by secondary progressive MS than the other two groups. Positive significant associations between UL deterioration and impairments at different International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health domains were noted in the most severe group. The progressive decline in manual dexterity was moderately to strongly associated with the deterioration of the overall UL activity (ρ = 0.72; p < 0.001) and disuse (amount of use ρ = 0.71; p < 0.001; quality of movement ρ = 0.77; p < 0.001). There was a low correlation between manual dexterity and UL function (ρ = 0.33; p = 0.03). The muscle activation pattern investigated by sEMG was characterized by a decrease in modularity and timing delay in the wrist extensor muscles activation in the severe ambulant patients (EDSS, 6-6.5). Similar impairments were observed in the proximal muscles (anterior deltoid) in the more advanced stages (EDSS ≥ 7). Conclusion: Behavioral assessment, together with measures of muscle activation patterns, allows investigating the pathophysiology of UL impairments in PwMS across progressive neurological disability severity to implement task-specific rehabilitation interventions.
electromyography; multiple sclerosis; participation; quality of life; upper limb abnormalities
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1012754
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