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Publication type: Journal Articles

Abstract: Motor sequence learning in persons with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) and healthy controls (HC) under implicit or explicit learning conditions has not yet been investigated in a stepping task. Given the prevalent cognitive and mobility impairments in pwMS, this is important in order to understand motor learning processes and optimize rehabilitation strategies. Nineteen pwMS (the Expanded Disability Status Scale = 3.4 +/- 1.2) and 18 HC performed a modified serial reaction time task by stepping as fast as possible on a stepping tile when it lit up, either with (explicit) or without (implicit) knowledge of the presence of a sequence beforehand. Motor sequence learning was studied by examining response time changes and differences between sequence and random blocks during the learning session (acquisition), 24 h later (retention), and in three dual-task (DT) conditions at baseline and retention (automaticity) using subtracting sevens, verbal fluency, and vigilance as concurrent cognitive DTs. Response times improved and were lower for the sequenced compared with the random blocks at the post- and retention tests (P's < 0.001). Response times during DT conditions improved after learning, but DT cost improved only for the subtracting sevens DT condition. No differences in learning were observed between learning conditions or groups. This study showed motor sequence learning, by acquisition and retention, in a stepping task in pwMS with motor impairments, to a similar degree as HC and regardless of learning conditions. Whether automaticity increased remains unclear.

Cite this article:
  author       = {{Veldkamp, Renee and Moumddjian, Lousin and Dun, Kim and 
                   Six, Joren and Vanbeylen, Antoine and Kos, Daphne and Feys, Peter}},
  issn         = {{0077-8923}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1}},
  pages        = {{155--171}},
  title        = {{Motor sequence learning in a goal-directed stepping 
                   task in persons with multiple sclerosis : a pilot study}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/nyas.14702}},
  volume       = {{1508}},
  year         = {{2022}},
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