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Neurorehabilitation and neural repair

The TWIST Algorithm Predicts Time to Walking Independently After Stroke.


PMID 29090654

Abstract

The likelihood of regaining independent walking after stroke is of concern to patients and their families and influences hospital discharge planning. The objective of this study was to explore factors that could be combined in an algorithm for predicting whether and when a patient will walk independently after stroke. Adults with new lower limb weakness were recruited within 3 days of having a stroke. Clinical assessment, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and magnetic resonance imaging were completed 1 to 2 weeks poststroke. Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was used to identify factors that predicted whether a patient achieved independent walking by 6 or 12 weeks, or remained dependent at 12 weeks. We recruited 41 patients (24 women; median age 72 years, range 43-96 years). The CART analysis results were used to create the Time to Walking Independently after STroke (TWIST) algorithm, which made accurate predictions for 95% of patients. Patients with a trunk control test score >40 at 1 week walked independently within 6 weeks. Patients with a trunk control test score <40 only achieved independent walking by 12 weeks if they also had hip extension strength of Medical Research Council grade 3 or more. Neurophysiological and neuroimaging measures did not predict independent walking after stroke. In this exploratory study, the TWIST algorithm accurately predicted whether and when an individual patient walked independently after stroke using simple bedside measures 1 week poststroke. Further work is required to develop and validate this algorithm in a larger study.

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