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Effectiveness of a Cognitive-Motor Training Program in Reducing Attentional Cost During Walking in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis

Carmen Gutiérrez-Cruz, F. Javier Rojas, Juan Carlos De la Cruz, and Marcos Gutiérrez-Dávila

The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy of a combined training program (CTP) in reducing the effects of dual tasking on the temporal parameters and kinematics of gait, as compared with single-task gait. A controlled, randomized, intervention study was performed in an intervention group and a control group. The intervention group attended three weekly CTP sessions for 24 weeks. Gait pattern was evaluated prior to the baseline intervention, at 12 weeks, and at 24 weeks (Repost). The sample was composed of 22 subjects diagnosed with multiple sclerosis with an Expanded Disability Status Scale score of 0–5.5. A total of 12 patients were allocated to the intervention group and another 10 to the control group. A three-dimensional photogrammetry scanner was connected to a selective attention system designed to present a dual-task gait condition. Dual tasking had an impact on all spatiotemporal parameters of gait, and the most remarkable effect of dual tasking was on double-support time, which increased by 9% with respect to normal walking. In contrast, dual tasking had a trivial effect on single-support time. The CTP was effective in reducing the effects of dual tasking on stride length and velocity of the center of mass after Repost of training (p < .05). The CTP reduced time in double-support phase, whereas single-support time increased after Repost of intervention. The application of the CTP had no effect on the cost of the double task after 12 weeks of intervention. It is suggested to increase the application time over Repost.