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Barefoot Plantar Pressure Indicates Progressive Neurological Damage in Patients with Human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 Infection.

By Beatriz Helena B Vasconcelos, Givago S Souza, Tatiana G C P Barroso, Luiz Carlos L Silveira, Rita Catarina M Sousa, Bianca Callegari and Marília B Xavier


The human T-Cell Lymphotropic Virus Type 1 (HTLV-1) is a retrovirus associated with neurological alterations; individuals with HTLV-1 infection may develop HTLV-1 associated myelopathy / tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP). Frequent neurological complaints include foot numbness and leg weakness. In this study, we compared the distribution of the body weight on different areas of the foot in HTLV-1 patients with HAM/TSP, asymptomatic HTLV-1 patients, and healthy individuals.We studied 36 HTLV-1 infected patients, who were divided in two groups of 18 patients each based on whether or not they had been diagnosed with HAM/TSP, and 17 control subjects. The evaluation included an interview on the patient's clinical history and examinations of the patient's reflexes, foot skin tactile sensitivity, and risk of falling. The pressure distribution on different areas of the foot was measured with baropodometry, using a pressure platform, while the patients had their eyes open or closed.The prevalence of neurological disturbances-altered reflexes and skin tactile sensitivity and increased risk of falling-was higher in HTLV-1 HAM/TSP patients than in HTLV-1 asymptomatic patients. The medium and maximum pressure values were higher in the forefoot than in the midfoot and hindfoot in both HTLV-1 groups. In addition, the pressure on the hindfoot was lower in HAM/TSP patients compared to control subjects.The neurological disturbances associated with HTLV-1 infection gradually worsened from HTLV-1 asymptomatic patients to HAM/TSP patients. Baropodometry is a valuable tool to establish the extent of neurological damage in patients suffering from HTLV-1 infection

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151855
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