Quantitative measures of neurological function in chronic neuromuscular diseases and ataxia

Michael J. Fillyaw, Gary J. Badger, Walter G. Bradley, Rup Tandan, Christiana J. Blair, Timothy J. Fries, David G. Wilder, Joy Boerman, Jeffrey Young, Meijanti Witarsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Interexaminer and intraexaminer reliability were determined for 30 quantitative measures of neurological function, including sensory threshold, tendon reflexes, maximum isometric strength, and timed tests and coded ratings of functional ability, in patients with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (n = 30), idiopathic polyneuropathy (n = 16) and spinocerebellar degeneration (n = 30). Five of 6 sensory and reflex measures had interexaminer reliability greater than 0.80 when the neurologists' examinations were 1 h apart; 2 of 7 achieved this level when the examinations were separated by 1 month. Interexaminer reliability between physical therapists was greater than 0.80 for 19 of 20 measures of strength and functional ability. Intraexaminer reliability coefficients greater than 0.80 were found for 13 of 24 sensory and reflex measures, 28 of 30 isometric strength measures, 24 of 30 timed tests and 5 of 6 coded ratings of functional ability. Electro-oculography, oral diadochokinetic syllable rates, hand and foot accelerometry, and tracings of sine and square waves were examined as quantitative indices of ataxia for patients with spinocerebellar degeneration. Of 11 measures of ataxia, only the oral diadochokinetic syllable rate test had acceptable reliability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-36
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Ataxia
  • Neurological function
  • Neuromuscular disease
  • Quantitative measures
  • Reliability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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