Alteration of spatial-temporal parameters of gait in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) patients

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has been widely studied and a

lot of information is available in the literature regarding

the immunological, virological, neuroendocrinal and

psychiatric aspects of the disease, but its aetiology is still

poorly understood. Great attention has also been paid to the

alteration of the muscular function caused by CFS. The aim of

the present work was to study CFS patients’ gait in order to

find out objective measures which can better characterize the

pathology. Spatial and temporal parameters of gait were

collected from a group of 12 CFS informed volunteers by using

the typical instrumentation of movement analysis, and raw data

were statistically elaborated. Comparisons with reference data

from a population of healthy subjects revealed significant

abnormalities in the symmetry indices of the bilateral

parameters and in the linear relationships among parameters,

and between these parameters and the physical characteristics

of the patients. Interestingly, the abnormalities were present

as from the beginning of the gait, which indicates that they

are unlikely to be caused by the rapid increasing fatigue.

This strengthens the hypothesis of a direct involvement of the

central nervous system (CNS) in the onset of the disease.

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