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Gait in children and adolescents with Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth disease: a systematic review

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Symptoms of Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth (CMT) disease typically arise in childhood or adolescence with gait difficulty most common. A systematic review was conducted to synthesise, review, and characterise gait in paediatric CMT. Health‐related electronic databases were reviewed with search terms related to CMT and gait. Of 454 articles, 10 articles describing seven studies met eligibility criteria; samples ranged from 1 to 81, included mixed CMT sub‐types and had a participant mean age of 13 years. Assessments included a variety of methods to examine only barefoot gait. Heterogeneity of gait patterns was noted. Children and adolescents with CMT walked slower, most likely due to shorter stride length. Common kinematic and kinetic abnormalities included significant foot drop during swing, reduced calf muscle power, and proximal compensatory mechanisms in the lower limb. Little data were found to inform typical functional gait characteristics or change over time. Of note, barefoot assessment does not reflect function in everyday life where footwear is commonly worn. With limited existing literature, future studies of gait in paediatric CMT need to evaluate the influence of diagnostic sub‐types and disease progression; the effect of factors such as footwear and the environment; and to explore changes in gait and function throughout childhood and adolescence.
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Keywords: Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth disease; gait; paediatric; systematic review; walking

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

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