Objective/Background: The majority of multiple sclerosis patients experience impaired walking ability, which impacts quality of life. Timed 25-foot walk is commonly used to gauge gait impairment but results can be broadly variable. Objective biological markers that correlate closely with patients’ disability are needed. Diffusion tensor imaging, quantifying fiber tract integrity, might provide such information. In this project we analyzed relationships between timed 25-foot walk, conventional and diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging markers. Design/Methods: A cohort of gait impaired multiple sclerosis patients underwent brain and cervical spinal cord magnetic resonance imaging. Diffusion tensor imaging mean diffusivity and fractional anisotropy were measured on the brain corticospinal tracts and spinal restricted field of vision at C2/3. We analyzed relationships between baseline timed 25-foot walk, conventional and diffusion tensor imaging magnetic resonance imaging markers. Results: Multivariate linear regression analysis showed a statistically significant association between several magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging metrics and timed 25-foot walk: brain mean diffusivity corticospinal tracts (p = 0.004), brain corticospinal tracts axial and radial diffusivity (P = 0.004 and 0.02), grey matter volume (p = 0.05), white matter volume (p = 0.03) and normalized brain volume (P = 0.01). The linear regression model containing mean diffusivity corticospinal tracts and controlled for gait assistance was the best fit model (p = 0.004). Conclusions: Our results suggest an association between diffusion tensor imaging metrics and gait impairment, evidenced by brain mean diffusivity corticospinal tracts and timed 25-foot walk.
|Journal||Multiple Sclerosis Journal - Experimental, Translational and Clinical|
|State||Published - 14 Jan 2016|
- Multiple sclerosis
- biological marker
- diffusion tensor imaging