Friday, 26 January 2018

Study showing cooler temperatures affect walking

I saw this paper in a tweet - thanks to @HSPersJapan for this. It was published in 2016, so I'm a little late spotting this!

Researchers from Plymouth University studied 22 people with HSP and compared them with 19 matched controls. The study either cooled or warm one leg and measured the effects, including walking speed, stiffness, movement.

The study showed that cooling decreased the walking speed for all participants, but the speed of the HSP patients decreased by more than the controls. The study supports this commonly reported symptom for those with HSP. If both legs were cooled it is expected that the speed reduction would be larger.

When legs were cooled the spasticity increased, which contradicts previous studies which had used cooling as a treatment in similar conditions. When legs were warmed the spasticity decreased. Further research is reccomended in the use of insulating garments to reduce the effects of coolness. It is suggested that maintaining and preventing heat loss may be an effective measure to help peolpe with HSP.

The participants with HSP were recruited through the UK HSP support group.

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