Relative importance of vision and proprioception in maintaining standing balance in people with multiple sclerosis.

Author: Yang F1, Liu X2
1Department of Kinesiology and Health, Georgia State University, 125 Decatur St, Suite-137, Atlanta, GA 30303, USA. Electronic address:
2School of Mathematics, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, USA.
Conference/Journal: Mult Scler Relat Disord.
Date published: 2019 Dec 20
Other: Volume ID: 39 , Pages: 101901 , Special Notes: doi: 10.1016/j.msard.2019.101901. [Epub ahead of print] , Word Count: 292

BACKGROUND: Balance impairment is common and a risk factor of falls in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relative importance between vision and proprioception in maintaining standing body balance among individuals with MS compared with healthy individuals.

METHODS: Thirty people with MS (the mean ± standard deviation of the Patient Determined Disability Steps: 3.62 ± 1.67 out of 8) and 25 healthy adults participated in this cross-sectional study. They underwent a static posturography test, consisting of three sensory feedback conditions: eyes open on a firm surface, eyes closed on a firm surface, and eyes open on a compliant surface. Their standing balance performance, quantified by the 95% confidence ellipse area and the total length of the center of pressure trajectory during each sensory condition, was calculated based on the ground reaction force data. The Romberg's quotient (the ratio of the center of pressure measurements on the firm surface between eyes open and eyes closed conditions) and proprioception quotient (the ratio of the center of pressure measurements with eyes open between firm and compliant standing surfaces) were calculated and compared between groups.

RESULTS: Persons with MS demonstrated significantly larger postural sway under all three sensory conditions than their healthy counterparts. The reliance on the vision and proprioception systems in maintaining body balance was greater among people with MS compared to healthy adults. Both groups similarly relied more on the proprioceptive input to keep body balance than on the vision.

CONCLUSIONS: Like healthy individuals, persons with MS rely more on proprioception to maintain body balance than vision. Our findings could provide preliminary reference for optimizing balance improving programs aimed at person with MS.

Copyright © 2019 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

KEYWORDS: Fall prevention; Posturography test; Proprioception quotient; Romberg's quotient

PMID: 31918240 DOI: 10.1016/j.msard.2019.101901