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European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine 2015 August;51(4):423-7


language: English

Tinetti and Berg balance scales correlate with disability in hereditary peripheral neuropathies: a preliminary study

Monti Bragadin M. 1, 2, Francini L. 1, Bellone E. 1, 3, Grandis M. 1, 3, Reni L. 3, Canneva S. 1, Gemelli C. 1, Ursino G. 1, Maggi G. 3, Mori L. 1, Schenone A. 1, 3

1 Department of Neuroscience, Rehabilitation, Ophthalmology, Genetics, Maternal and Child Health (DINOGMI), University of Genoa, Genoa, Italy; 2 Don Carlo Gnocchi Onlus Foundation, Sarzana, La Spezia, Italy; 3 IRCCS Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria San Martino IST, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genoa, Italy


BACKGROUND: The combination of distal muscle weakness, sensory defects and feet deformities leads to disequilibrium in patients affected by Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) neuropathy. Studies relating the outcome of balance scales and clinical severity of CMT are lacking.
AIM: To evaluate the accuracy of the Tinetti Balance scale (TBS) and Berg Balance scale (BBS) in identifying balance disorders and quantifying disease severity in CMT patients.
DESIGN: Observational study.
SETTING: University of Genoa-IRCCS AOU San Martino IST-Department of Neurology, Italy.
POPULATION: Nineteen individuals with a diagnosis of CMT (12 females, 7 males, age 41.26±12.42).
METHODS: All subjects underwent an evaluation with both TBS and BBS. Disability was quantified with CMT neuropathy score (CMTNS). Moreover, a complete neurophysiological study was performed. Distal lower limbs strength was evaluated with MRC scale. Pearson rank order correlation was used to determine the correlation between the scores on the two tests and to identify an eventual correlation between TBS or BBS and the CMTNS.
RESULTS: Both scales showed a highly significant negative correlation with the CMTNS (r=-0.78, P<0.0005 and r=-0.77, P<0.001, respectively) and distal weakness on the anterior tibial muscles (AT) (TBS: AT left: r=0.65, P<0.005 and AT right: 0.59, P<0.01; BBS: AT left r=+0.71, P<0.001 and AT right r=+0.66, P<0.005). We found also a highly significant, positive correlation between the two different balance scales (r=+0.9, P<0.0001).
CONCLUSION: TBS and BBS strongly correlate with disease disability and distal muscular weakness.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Both TBS and BBS may play a relevant role in the assessment of disability in patients affected by CMT. Further studies are needed to validate our results in a larger population.

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