May 18, 2022

Walking Ability Found to Worsen With Age in Adults With Dravet

Article published by Dravet Syndrome News

Adults with Dravet syndrome commonly experience walking difficulties that tend to worsen with age, a small study reports.

“In this study, it was observed that gait parameters and parkinsonian symptoms were abnormal across all ages, but clearly worse in older patients, suggesting a progressive gait disorder,” researchers wrote.

By the end of the five-year study period, one-third of the patients who were ambulatory at its start were no longer able to walk, the team noted.

The study, “Progressive Worsening of Gait and Motor Abnormalities in Older Adults With Dravet Syndrome,” was published in Neurology.

The team of scientists in the U.S. and Canada conducted a small study to assess how walking ability changes in adults with Dravet over time. The scientists were inspired to do the research by anecdotal reports from caregivers that described adults with Dravet syndrome who had been able to walk but then lost that ability.

A total of six adults with Dravet, with a mean age of 32, were involved in the study. They were assessed five years apart, once in 2014 and then again in 2019. A modified version of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (mUPDRS) was used to measure gait abnormalities, as well as resting tremors, facial expression, standing up from a seated position, posture, and body bradykinesia, which is an abnormal slowness of movement.

Results showed that, over the five years between assessments, mUPDRS scores worsened for all but one of the six patients.