Multiple Sclerosis: Slower Walking Speed Associated With Decreased Quality of Life

Jeffrey Cohen MD Department of Neurology Cleveland Interview with:
Jeffrey Cohen MD
Department of Neurology
Cleveland Clinic

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Cohen: This study assessed the relationship between walking speed, as measured by the Timed 25-foot Walk test, and patient-reported quality of life, as measured by the Physical Component Summary score of the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36), in a pooled dataset from the AFFIRM, SENTINEL, and IMPACT multiple sclerosis Phase 3 trials.  It showed that slowed walking speed is associated with decreased quality of life.  It also showed that 20-25% slowing of walking speed is a clinically meaningful change.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Cohen: Waling ability is an important aspect of multiple sclerosis and the Timed 25-Foot Walk is an appropriate way to assess it.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Dr. Cohen:

1)      Determine whether other walking tests capture walking ability in multiple sclerosis better than the Timed 25-Foot Walk.

2)      Assess other neuroperformance measures of e.g. the 9-Hole Peg Test of upper extremity function using a similar approach.