Publications by authors named "Mieke Goetschalckx"

2 Publications

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Rhythmic interlimb coordination of the lower limbs in multiple sclerosis during auditory pacing to three different frequencies.

Gait Posture 2021 May 5;86:334-340. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

REVAL Rehabilitation Research Center, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hasselt University, Hasselt, Belgium; UMSC Pelt-Hasselt, Belgium. Electronic address:

Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a demyelinating disorder of the central nervous system with heterogeneous symptoms. Persons with MS (PwMS) show reduced walking capacity with changes in their gait pattern. It is unknown to which extent coordination deficits are present in PwMS, which can be measured by seated lower leg interlimb coordination tasks, and to which extent they are related to motor and cognitive function.

Research Question: How is the control of interlimb coordination of the lower limbs characterized in PwMS compared to healthy controls (HC) during a seated rhythmical coordination task and what is the relationship between interlimb coordination, motor or cognitive function?

Methods: Rhythmical interlimb coordination was assessed during a single session in 38 PwMS and 13 HC, using a seated rhythmical coordination task, comprising of antiphase flexion-extension of the lower limbs, to metronomes at 0.75 Hz, 1.00 Hz, 1.50 Hz. Outcomes were phase coordination index (PCI), movement amplitude and movement frequency. Correlations between interlimb coordination, motor, and cognitive function were examined.

Results: PwMS showed impaired walking capacity but preserved cognitive function. Mixed model analysis revealed a significant effect of group and metronome frequency for PCI, attenuated by the variability in generating knee (antiphase flexion-extension) movements. Movement amplitude was highest at metronome frequency 1.00 Hz. In PwMS significant correlations were found between PCI and cognitive function when performing the task at metronome frequencies 0.75 Hz and 1.50 Hz, as well as motor function at 1.50 Hz.

Significance: PwMS had a higher variability in interlimb coordination compared to HC. The most stable interlimb antiphase coordination mode was performed at 1.00 Hz. Significant correlations support the existence of a relationship between information processing speed, as well as walking impairment, with interlimb coordination. While cognitive and motor control are always needed for interlimb coordination movements, associations are strongest in the deviant higher and lower metronome rhythms.
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May 2021

Structured Cognitive-Motor Dual Task Training Compared to Single Mobility Training in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis, a Multicenter RCT.

J Clin Med 2019 Dec 10;8(12). Epub 2019 Dec 10.

REVAL Rehabilitation Research Center, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Hasselt University, 3500 Hasselt, Belgium.

The aim was to compare the effectiveness of dual-task training (DTT) compared to single mobility training (SMT) on dual-task walking, mobility and cognition, in persons with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS). Forty pwMS were randomly assigned to the DTT or SMT groups. The DTT-group performed dual-task exercises using an interactive tablet-based application, while the SMT-group received conventional walking and balance exercises. Both interventions were supervised and identical in weeks (8) and sessions (20). Nine cognitive-motor dual-task conditions were assessed at baseline, after intervention and at 4-weeks follow-up (FU). The dual-task cost (DTC), percentage change of dual-task performance compared to single-task performance, was the primary outcome. Mobility and cognition were secondarily assessed. Mixed model analyses were done with group, time and the interaction between group and time as fixed factors and participants as random factors. Significant time by group interactions were found for the digit-span walk and subtraction walk dual-task conditions, with a reduction in DTC (gait speed) for the DTT maintained at FU. Further, absolute dual-task gait speed during walking over obstacles only improved after the DTT. Significant improvements were found for both groups in various motor and cognitive measures. However, the DTT led to better dual-task walking compared to the SMT.
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December 2019