Journal of Neurology

, Volume 262, Issue 7, pp 1706–1713 | Cite as

Walking function in clinical monitoring of multiple sclerosis by telemedicine

  • Núria Sola-Valls
  • Yolanda Blanco
  • Maria Sepúlveda
  • Sara Llufriu
  • Elena H. Martínez-Lapiscina
  • Delon La Puma
  • Francesc Graus
  • Pablo Villoslada
  • Albert Saiz
Original Communication


Walking limitation is a key component of disability in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), but the information on daily walking activity and disability over time is limited. To determine, (1) the agreement between the standard measurements of MS-related disability [expanded disability status scale (EDSS), functional systems (FS) and ambulation index (AI)] obtained by conventional and remote evaluation using a multimedia platform; (2) the usefulness of monitoring 6-min walk test (6MWT) and average daily walking activity (aDWA) to better characterize patients disability. Twenty-five patients (EDSS score 1.0–6.5) were evaluated every 3 months for the first year, and aDWA repeated at year 2. Remote visits included the recording of a video with self-performed neurological examination and specific multimedia questionnaires. aDWA was measured by a triaxial accelerometer. All but two patients completed the study. Modest agreement between conventional and multimedia EDSS was found for EDSS ≤ 4.0 (kappa = 0.2) and good for EDSS ≥ 4.5 (kappa = 0.6). For the overall sample, pyramidal, cerebellar and brainstem FS showed the greatest agreement (kappa = 0.7). SR-AI showed a modest agreement for EDSS ≤ 4.0 and good for EDSS ≥ 4.5 (kappa = 0.3 and 0.6, respectively). There was a strong correlation between conventional and 6MWT measured by accelerometer (r = 0.76). The aDWA correlated strongly with the EDSS (r = −0.86) and a cut-off point of 3279.3 steps/day discriminated patients with ambulatory impairment. There was a significant decline in aDWA over 2 years in patients with ambulatory impairment that were not observed by standard measurements of disability. MS clinical monitoring by telemedicine is feasible, but the observed lower agreement in less disabled patients emphasizes the need to optimize the assessment methodology. Accelerometers capture changes that may indicate deterioration over time.


Multiple sclerosis Telemedicine Disability progression Accelerometer Daily walking activity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Núria Sola-Valls
    • 1
  • Yolanda Blanco
    • 1
  • Maria Sepúlveda
    • 1
  • Sara Llufriu
    • 1
  • Elena H. Martínez-Lapiscina
    • 1
  • Delon La Puma
    • 1
  • Francesc Graus
    • 1
  • Pablo Villoslada
    • 1
  • Albert Saiz
    • 1
  1. 1.Service of Neurology, Hospital Clínic and Institut d´Investigació Biomèdica August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Center of NeuroimmunologyUniversitat de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain

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