Balance Compromised in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

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Balance Compromised in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy
Balance Compromised in Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

MONDAY, March 23, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN) have greater maximum and range of separations of their center of mass from their center of pressure, according to a study published online March 12 in Diabetes Care.

Steven J. Brown, from the Manchester Metropolitan University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues performed gait analysis during level walking and stair negotiation in 22 patients with DPN, 39 patients with diabetes without neuropathy, and 28 controls without diabetes. Balance was assessed by measuring the separation between the body center of mass and center of pressure during level walking and stair ascent and descent.

The researchers found that, compared with the control group, DPN patients demonstrated greater maximum and range of separations of their center of mass from their center of pressure in the medial-lateral plane during stair ascent, stair descent, and level walking (P < 0.05). They also had increased mean separation during level waking and stair ascent (P < 0.05). During stair ascent, greater maximum anterior separation (toward the staircase) was seen in the DPN group (P < 0.05). Patients with diabetes without neuropathy exhibited no differences.

"This may contribute to explaining why patients with DPN are more likely to fall, with the higher separations placing them at a higher risk of experiencing a sideways fall than nondiabetic control subjects," the authors write.

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