Publications by authors named "Mahmoud Harfoush"

2 Publications

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Use of dynamic movement orthoses to improve gait stability and trunk control in ataxic patients.

Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2017 Oct 19;53(5):735-743. Epub 2017 Jun 19.

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences and Biotechnologies, Sapienza University, Polo Pontino, Latina, Italy.

Background: Patients with cerebellar ataxia show increased upper body movements, which have an impact on balance and walking.

Aim: In this study, we investigated the effect of using dynamic movement orthoses (DMO), designed as elastic suits, on trunk motion and gait parameters.

Design: Longitudinal uncontrolled study.

Setting: Outpatient rehabilitation unit.

Population: Eleven patients (7 men, 4 women; mean age: 49.9±9.5 years) with degenerative cerebellar ataxia were enrolled in this study.

Methods: Linear overground gait of patients was recorded by means of an optoelectronic gait analysis system before DMO use (DMO-) and during DMO use (DMO+). Time-distance parameters, lower limb joint kinematics, body sway, trunk oscillations, and gait variability (coefficient of variation [CV]) were recorded. Patient satisfaction with DMO device was measured using Quebec user evaluation of satisfaction with assistive technology.

Results: When using the DMO, patients showed a significant decrease in stance phase duration, double support phase duration, swing phase CV, pelvic range of motion (ROM), body sway, and trunk ROMs. A significant increase was observed in the swing phase duration and knee joint ROM. Out of 11 patients, 10 were either quite satisfied (8 points) or very satisfied (2 points) with the assistive device.

Conclusions: The DMO reduce the upper body motion and in improve balance-related gait parameters.

Clinical Rehabilitation Impact: We propose use of DMO as an assistive/rehabilitative device in the neurorehabilitation of cerebellar ataxia to improve the trunk control and gait stability. DMO may be considered a prototype that can be modified in terms of material characteristics, textile layers, elastic components, and diagonal and lateral seams.
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October 2017

Upper body kinematics in patients with cerebellar ataxia.

Cerebellum 2014 Dec;13(6):689-97

Rehabilitation Centre, Movement Analysis LAB, Policlinico Italia, Rome, Italy.

Although abnormal oscillations of the trunk are a common clinical feature in patients with cerebellar ataxia, the kinematic behaviour of the upper body in ataxic patients has yet to be investigated in quantitative studies. In this study, an optoelectronic motion analysis system was used to measure the ranges of motion (ROMs) of the head and trunk segments in the sagittal, frontal and yaw planes in 16 patients with degenerative cerebellar ataxia during gait at self-selected speed. The data obtained were compared with those collected in a gender-, age- and gait speed-matched sample of healthy subjects and correlated with gait variables (time-distance means and coefficients of variation) and clinical variables (disease onset, duration and severity). The results showed significantly larger head and/or trunk ROMs in ataxic patients compared with controls in all three spatial planes, and significant correlations between trunk ROMs and disease duration and severity (in sagittal and frontal planes) and time-distance parameters (in the yaw plane), and between both head and trunk ROMs and swing phase duration variability (in the sagittal plane). Furthermore, the ataxic patients showed a flexed posture of both the head and the trunk during walking. In conclusion, our study revealed abnormal motor behaviour of the upper body in ataxic patients, mainly resulting in a flexed posture and larger oscillations of the head and trunk. The results of the correlation analyses suggest that the longer and more severe the disease, the larger the upper body oscillations and that large trunk oscillations may explain some aspects of gait variability. These results suggest the need of specific rehabilitation treatments or the use of elastic orthoses that may be particularly useful to reduce trunk oscillations and improve dynamic stability.
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December 2014