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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227


CAIAFA, Renata Costa; ORSINI, Marco; FELICIO, Lilian R.  and  PUCCIONI-SOHLER, Marzia. Muscular weakness represents the main limiting factor of walk, functional independence and quality of life of myelopathy patients associated to HTLV-1. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2016, vol.74, n.4, pp.280-286. ISSN 1678-4227.

HTLV-1-associated myelopathy is a progressive disabling disease associated with gait abnormalities.


To identify and quantify the main muscles affected by weakness and spasticity, their impact on gait, functional capacity and on quality of life of HTLV-1-associated myelopathy patients.


We evaluated lower limbs muscular strength according to the Medical Research Council scale, spasticity according to the modified Ashworth scale, daily activities according to the Barthel Index and quality of life according to the Short-Form Health Survey-36 of 26 HTLV-1-associated myelopathy patients.


The muscles most affected by weakness included the dorsal flexors and knee flexors. Spasticity predominated in the hip adductor muscles and in plantar flexors. Assistance for locomotion, minimal dependence in daily activities, limitations in functional capacity and physical aspects were the most common findings.


The impairment of gait, functional dependence and quality of life were predominantly a consequence of intense muscle weakness in HTLV-1-associated myelopathy patients.

Keywords : HAM/TSP; functional ability; gait; quality of life.

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