Looking for help with MS Research

Research Team:
 Linda Renfrew, Paul Mattison, Lorna Paul, Danny Rafferty, Roy Bower, Anna Smith
Douglas Grant Rehabilitation Centre
Ayrshire Central Hospital, Irvine
Funder: MS Society

We are carrying out a research study comparing the current treatments available for people with MS who have a foot drop. Foot drop happens when the muscles of the ankle are weak causing the foot to drag or causing you to trip while you walking. 

The two main types of treatments available for foot drop are Ankle Foot Orthosis (AFO) and Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES). An AFO is a plastic splint which goes down the back of the leg and under the foot. It holds the ankle at 90 degrees and fits into the shoe, keeping the foot up to reducing tripping. FES is a medical device which stimulates the nerve at the side of the lower part of your leg and contracts the muscle at the outside of your leg to help lift the foot. The timing of the foot lift is triggered by a foot switch placed in the heel of the shoe, so that the muscle is stimulated when your foot is off the ground helping clearance and reducing tripping.

We will be recruiting people with MS who are known to consultants in the MS Services in your health board from August 2014 until August 2016. You would be put into one of the two groups either FES or AFO at random. You would then be asked to attend routine clinical and research appointments for 12 months. Study appointments will take place at either Glasgow Caledonian University or The Douglas Grant Rehabilitation Centre in Irvine, Ayrshire; however you will have some of your travel expenses reimbursed for research appointments.

To be eligible for the study you must:
•    Have been diagnosed with MS
•    Be over 18 years old
•    Have foot drop for at least the last 3 months due to your MS
•    Be able to walk for 5 minutes at a comfortable pace without stopping
•    Have had little change in your MS over the last 3 months
you must not:
•    Have used either FES or AFO before for a foot drop. 
•    Have other significant medical conditions affecting your walking
•    Have a significant problems with your memory which might affect your ability to take part in the study

If think your might be suitable and are interested in being part of the study please discuss with your MS specialist or contact Linda Renfrew for further information:
email: linda.renfrew@aapct.scot.nhs.uk  
phone: 01294 323 030/323 057