Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cognitive Tasking and Balance Control in MS

Have you ever caught yourself swaying a bit while you were deep in thought and using your brain power to work something out?  Do you trip just a little bit more when you walk and talk?  MS might be to blame. 

We know that balance control is affected by musculoskeletal and neuromuscular control (see What is the Romberg Test?).  Deficits in balance/postural control can be related to  impaired visual, vestibular, and somatosensory inputs to the central nervous system.  Recent published research shows that balance control also has a cognitive component.

A small study undertaken at the Ahvaz Jundishapur University (Khuzestan, Iran) showed that MS patients tend to sway more when tasked with a cognitive challenge as compared to their healthy, age-matched controls under varying circumstances.

Read this post in its entirety:

How does a cognitive challenge affect postural balance in MS patients? A New Study

4 comments:

  1. this happens to me ALL THE TIME!!

    thanks for posting the article

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  2. Part of me says "we needed a study for this?" Of couse MS has robbed me of the ability to walk and chew gum...

    (what I want to know is can I blame MS for stabbing myself in the cheek with a fork as I try to focus on a dinner speaker and eat at the same time....)

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  3. It certainly provides another interpretation of the phrase "let me sit down and think." :)

    The acknowledgments at the end of the paper mention that this study was done as part of a Masters thesis. After reading this article I did some minor searching and found that there is a lot of research on gait and cognition in the elderly. Interesting stuff actually.

    Regarding the fork - absolutely blame it on MS. I on the other hand can't exactly blame MS for the food which falls off my fork as I'm about to put it in my mouth. Sometimes I'm just a klutz. LOL.

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