Dual-Task Cost and Related Clinical Features in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

in Motor Control
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This study aimed to investigate the dual-task cost of both motor and cognitive performances in patients with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) and in healthy controls and to determine their relationships with clinical features in PwMS. The participants performed motor tasks (postural stability, walking, and manual dexterity) and cognitive tasks (mental tracking and verbal fluency) under single- and dual-task conditions. The results showed that postural stability under dual-task conditions did not change, whereas walking and manual dexterity deteriorated, regardless of the concurrent cognitive task, in PwMS (median Expanded Disability Status Scale score: 1) and the healthy controls. Verbal fluency decreased during postural stability, whereas it increased during walking, and it was maintained during manual dexterity in both groups. Mental tracking did not change during walking; it declined during manual dexterity in both groups. Mental tracking during postural stability deteriorated in PwMS, while it did not change in the healthy controls. In general, dual-task costs were associated with baseline performances of tasks rather than clinical features. Therefore, baseline performances of both tasks should be increased for improving dual-task performance in PwMS.

Ozkul, Guclu-Gunduz, Eldemir, Apaydin, Gulsen, Yazici, and Soke are with the Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey. Irkec is with the Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey. Irkec is now with the Department of Neurology, Lokman Hekim Hospital, Ankara, Turkey.

Ozkul (caglaozkul@hotmail.com, caglaozkul@gazi.edu.tr) is corresponding author.

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