Assessing lower extremity function in multiple sclerosis patients by reaction time

R. R. Goyakla Apache, D. Jackson, D. H. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Reaction times (RT) and movement times (MT) were measured in 43 ambulant multiple sclerosis (MS) patients as part of their regularly scheduled neurologic examination. The purpose of this study was to examine the test-retest reliability and the construct validity of a reaction/movement time apparatus to assess lower extremity function. To estimate reliability, the patients underwent two test sessions requiring the evaluation of both legs on the same day either immediately before their scheduled appointment or immediately afterwards. In the validity phase of the study the patients' RT and MT scores for movement in the midline direction were assessed against the clinical MS disease course diagnosis resulting from the neurologic examination. Results indicate that the reaction/movement time apparatus provides very high intraclass reliability (R=.91 to .99) for the midline movement. Construct validity was established by performing a discriminant analysis for relationship between the RT and MT scores for midline movement and the disease course categories of possible/probable MS, stable/relapsing-remitting MS, and secondary-progressive MS with and without relapse (100% grouped cases classification). These results indicate that RT and MT measurements for lower extremity function can be useful in assessing MS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)13-19
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Kinesiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Information processing
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Reaction time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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