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Feasibility of Restoring Walking in Multiple Sclerosis with Multichannel Implanted Electrical Stimulation

Selkirk, Stephen M. MD, PhD; Kobetic, Rudi MS; Lombardo, Lisa M. MPT; Pinault, Gilles MD; Triolo, Ronald J. PhD

American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation: September 2017 - Volume 96 - Issue 9 - p e170–e172
doi: 10.1097/PHM.0000000000000692
Case Reports

A patient with multiple sclerosis–related gait dysfunction was followed over the course of his disease. Despite aggressive treatment, he developed significant weakness in ankle dorsiflexors and hip and knee flexors and was no longer capable of consistently taking a step on his own. With electrical stimulation of hip and knee flexors and ankle dorsiflexors using implanted electrodes, he was able to consistently walk short distances as far as 30 m, thus significantly improving his Expanded Disability Status Scale score. This case study supports further exploration into the potential benefits of an implanted pulse generator to ameliorate gait dysfunction and improve quality of life for people with multiple sclerosis.

Supplemental digital content is available in the text.

From the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center (SMS, RK, LML, GP, RJT); Department of Neurology, University Hospitals of Cleveland (SMS); Department of Orthopaedics and Biomedical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine (RJT); and VA National Center for Advanced Platform Technology (SMS, RK, LML, GP, RJT), Cleveland, Ohio.

All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to: Stephen M. Selkirk, MD, PhD, 10701 East Blvd, Cleveland, OH 44106.

Supported by the Rehabilitation Research and Development Service of the Department of Veterans Affairs, grant no. B7692R.

The contents of this article do not necessarily represent the views of the US Department of Veterans Affairs or the US Government.

Informed consent approved by the Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center was obtained. In addition, the subject signed the consent (VA form 10-3203) for production and use of verbal or written statements, photographs, digital images and/or video or audio recordings by VA.

Financial disclosure statements have been obtained, and no conflicts of interest have been reported by the authors or by any individuals in control of the content of this article.

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