Use of reaction and movement time as a measure of lower extremity functioning in multiple sclerosis

R. R.Goyakla Apache, Deborah Jackson, David H. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine criterion validity of a reaction time (RT) and movement time (MT) test in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). 178 ambulant MS patients were tested during regularly scheduled clinic visits. RT and MT were measured by calculating the time from initial reaction to a stimulus (light), and movement to a designated target pad. Criterion validity of the test measure was assessed by evaluating RT and MT against the derived Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) (Kurtzke, 1983), the pyramidal Functional System Score, and a timed 25-foot walk. Results indicated that lower extremity RT and MT has a strong relationship with the criterion measure (EDSS) (r=.84, p<0.01). The criterion validity of RT and MT for the MS patients was comparable to that of the timed 25-foot walk (r= -0.78, p<0.01), which was previously shown to be an excellent measure of ambulatory impairment (Schwid, et al. 1997). We conclude that, lower extremity RT and MT of ambulant MS patients were reliable, valid, and sensitive to various degrees of disability severity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Kinesiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Information processing
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Neuromuscular
  • Reaction time

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Rehabilitation

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