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Title: Balancing the demands of two tasks : an investigation of cognitive-motor dual-tasking in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis
Author: Butchard-MacDonald, Emma Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5994 5893
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2016
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Background: People with relapsing remitting MS (PwRRMS) suffer disproportionate decrements in gait under dual-task conditions, when walking and a cognitive task are combined. There has been much less investigation of the impact of cognitive demands on balance. This study investigated whether: (1) PwRRMS show disproportionate decrements in postural stability under dual-task conditions compared to healthy controls; (2) dual-task decrements are associated with everyday dual-tasking difficulties. In addition, the impact of mood, fatigue and disease severity on dual-tasking were also examined. Methods: 34 PwRRMS and 34 matched controls completed cognitive (digit span) and balance (movement of centre of pressure on a Biosway, on stable and unstable surfaces) tasks under single and dual-task conditions. Everyday dual-tasking was measured using the DTQ. Mood was measured by the HADS. Fatigue was measured via the MFIS. Results: No differences in age, gender, years of education, estimated pre-morbid IQ or baseline digit span between the groups. Compared to healthy controls, PwRRMS showed a significantly greater decrement in postural stability under dual-task conditions on an unstable surface (p=0.007), but not a stable surface (p=0.679). PwRRMS reported higher levels of everyday dual-tasking difficulties (p<0.001). Balance decrement scores were not correlated with everyday dual-tasking difficulties, or with fatigue. Stable surface balance decrement scores were significantly associated with levels of anxiety (rho=0.527, p=0.001) and depression (rho=0.451, p=0.007). Conclusion: RRMS causes difficulties with dual-tasking, impacting balance, particularly under challenging conditions, which may contribute to an increased risk of gait difficulties and falls. The striking relationship between anxiety/depression and dual-task decrement suggests that worry may be contributing to dual-task difficulties.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology