An innovative training program based on virtual reality and treadmill: effects on gait of persons with multiple sclerosis

Agnese Peruzzi*, Ignazio Roberto Zarbo, Andrea Cereatti, Ugo Della Croce, Anat Mirelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Aim: In this single blind randomized controlled trial, we examined the effect of a virtual reality-based training on gait of people with multiple sclerosis. Methods: Twenty-five individuals with multiple sclerosis with mild to moderate disability were randomly assigned to either the control group (n = 11) or the experimental group (n = 14). The subjects in the control group received treadmill training. Subjects in the experimental group received virtual reality based treadmill training. Clinical measures and gait parameters were evaluated. Result: Subjects in both the groups significantly improved the walking endurance and speed, cadence and stride length, lower limb joint ranges of motion and powers, during single and dual task gait. Moreover, subjects in the experimental group also improved balance, as indicated by the results of the clinical motor tests (p < 0.05). Between-group comparisons revealed that the experimental group improved significantly more than control group in hip range of motion and hip generated power at terminal stance at post-training. Conclusion: Our results support the perceived benefits of training programs that incorporate virtual reality to improve gait measures in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Implication of rehabilitation Gait deficits are common in multiple sclerosis (85%) and worsen during dual task activities. Intensive and progressive treadmill training, with and without virtual reality, is effective on dual task gait in persons with multiple sclerosis. Virtual reality-based treadmill training requiring obstacle negotiation increases the range of motion and the power generated at the hip, consequently allowing longer stride length and, consequently, higher gait speed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1557-1563
Number of pages7
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number15
StatePublished - 17 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
PolComIng department


    • Rehabilitation
    • dual task
    • gait
    • joint kinematics
    • joint kinetics
    • virtual reality


    Dive into the research topics of 'An innovative training program based on virtual reality and treadmill: effects on gait of persons with multiple sclerosis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this