Effect of cognitive demand on functional mobility in ambulatory individuals with multiple sclerosis

Marcia Aparecida Ciol, Patricia Noritake Matsuda, Seema Rani Khurana, Melissa Jaclyn Cline, Jacob Jonathan Sosnoff, George Howard Kraft

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: As disease progresses, cognitive demands may affect functional mobility in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). The Timed Up and Go (TUG) test assesses functional mobility in populations such as MS. A cognitive-demanding task can be added to the TUG test to assess its effect on functional mobility. Methods: People with MS (n = 52) and controls (n = 57) performed three versions of the TUG test: TUG alone (TUG-alone), TUG plus reciting the alphabet (TUG-alpha), and TUG plus subtracting numbers by 3s (TUG-3s). Times to complete the TUG tests were compared among controls and three groups of participants with MS created using Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) scores 0 to 3.5, 4.0 to 5.5, and 6. Differences among groups were analyzed using split-plot analysis of variance. Results: Group and TUG type were significant (P < .001 for both), with no interaction effect of group × TUG type (P = .21). Mean times were 8.7, 9.4, and 11.1 seconds to perform the TUG-alone, TUG-alpha, and TUG-3s, respectively. Mean times for groups were 8.0, 8.2, 11.1, and 11.6 seconds for controls and individuals with MS and EDSS 0 to 3.5, 4.0 to 5.5, and 6, respectively. Conclusions: People with MS with an EDSS score greater than 3.5 had a statistically significant reduction in performance of the TUG test even with the addition of a simple cognitive task, which might have implications for a person's more complex everyday activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of MS Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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