Monday, June 23, 2008

Gait Abnormality in CFS

Gait characteristics of subjects with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and
controls at self-selected and matched velocities.

Journal: J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2008 May 27;5(1):16. [Epub ahead of print]

Authors: Lorna Paul [1], Danny Rafferty [2*], Leslie Wood [3] and
William Maclaren [4]

[1] Nursing and Health Care  Faculty of Medicine, University of
Glasgow, Glasgow, UK
[2] School of Health & Social Care, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK
[3] School of Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, UK
[4] School of Engineering and Computing, Glasgow Caledonian
University, Glasgow, UK

* Corresponding author

Glasgow Caledonian University,
Cowcaddens Road,
G4 0BA,

NLM Citation: PMID: 18505580

BACKGROUND: Gait abnormalities have been reported in individuals with
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) however no studies exist to date
investigating the kinematics of individuals with CFS in over-ground
gait. The aim of this study was to compare the over-ground gait
pattern (sagittal kinematics and temporal and spatial) of individuals
with CFS and control subjects at their self-selected and at matched

METHODS: Twelve individuals with CFS and 12 matched controls
participated in the study. Each subject walked along a 7.2m walkway
three times at each of three velocities: self-selected, relatively
slow (0.45 ms-1) and a relatively fast (1.34 ms-1). A motion analysis
system was used to investigate the sagittal plane joint kinematics
and temporal spatial parameters of gait.

RESULTS: At self-selected velocity there were significant differences
between the two groups for all the temporal and spatial parameters
measured, including gait velocity (P=0.002). For the kinematic
variables the significant differences were related to both ankles
during swing and the right ankle during stance. At the relatively
slower velocity the kinematic differences were replicated. However,
the step distances decreased in the CFS population for the temporal
and spatial parameters. When the gait pattern of the individuals with
CFS at the relatively fast walking velocity (1.30 +/- 0.24ms-1) was
compared to the control subjects at their self-selected velocity
(1.32+/- 0.15ms-1) the gait pattern of the two groups was very
similar, with the exception of both ankles during swing.

CONCLUSIONS: The self-selected gait velocity and/or pattern of
individuals with CFS may be used to monitor the disease process or
evaluate therapeutic intervention. These differences may be a
reflection of the relatively low self-selected gait velocity of
individuals with CFS rather than a manifestation of the condition itself.

[Note: This is an Open Access article  The full text
is available for free in PDF at ]

* * *

With regard to speed, I find normal walking speed exhausts me quickly, but I can "mosey" for a longer distance.

One of the original Incline Village patients has noted that the local residents could easily identify CFS patients by their unusual gait, therefore, this obvious abnormality has been "known" for over 25 years, but apparently has only been researched now.  He describes one of the telltale characteristics as foot drop ... a neurological problem.

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