Original article| Volume 94, ISSUE 4, P753-760, April 2013

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Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy for the Lower Extremities in Multiple Sclerosis: Case Series With 4-Year Follow-Up

Published:October 29, 2012DOI:



      To evaluate in a preliminary manner the feasibility, safety, and efficacy of Constraint-Induced Movement therapy (CIMT) of persons with impaired lower extremity use from multiple sclerosis (MS).


      Clinical trial with periodic follow-up for up to 4 years.


      University-based rehabilitation research laboratory.


      A referred sample of ambulatory adults with chronic MS (N=4) with at least moderate loss of lower extremity use (average item score ≤6.5/10 on the functional performance measure of the Lower Extremity Motor Activity Log [LE-MAL]).


      CIMT was administered for 52.5 hours over 3 consecutive weeks (15 consecutive weekdays) to each patient.

      Main Outcome Measures

      The primary outcome was the LE-MAL score at posttreatment. Secondary outcomes were posttreatment scores on laboratory assessments of maximal lower extremity movement ability.


      All the patients improved substantially at posttreatment on the LE-MAL, with smaller improvements on the laboratory motor measures. Scores on the LE-MAL continued to improve for 6 months afterward. By 1 year, patients remained on average at posttreatment levels. At 4 years, half of the patients remained above pretreatment levels. There were no adverse events, and fatigue ratings were not significantly changed by the end of treatment.


      This initial trial of lower extremity CIMT for MS indicates that the treatment can be safely administered, is well tolerated, and produces substantially improved real-world lower extremity use for as long as 4 years afterward. Further trials are needed to determine the consistency of these findings.


      List of abbreviations:

      CIMT (Constraint-Induced Movement therapy), d' (effect size), EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale), FP (functional performance), LE-MAL (Lower Extremity Motor Activity Log), LE-MFT (Lower Extremity Motor Function Test), MS (multiple sclerosis), 6MWT (6-minute walk test), T25W (timed 25-foot walk test), VAS (visual analog scale)
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