Abstract: The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of somatosensory impairment, distal muscle weakness and foot deformities on the balance in 21 CMT1A patients using a baropodometric platform. Stabilometric analysis by measuring sway area and velocity of a centre of pressure (CoP) both at open and closed eyes were used to assess postural imbalance. Static analysis, by measuring the load and the plantar surface of forefoot, midfoot and hindfoot was used to define the footprint shape and to assess as a whole foot deformities. Stabilometric and static results were compared with those of a control group. In CMT1A patients, stabilometric
findings were correlated with static parameters, Achilles’ tendon retraction, distal muscle strength and CMT examination score (CMTES). CMT1A patients compared to controls had lower plantar surface and load on midfoot, and higher load on a forefoot. CMT1A patients had a greater postural instability, since they had a higher CoP velocity, both at open and closed eyes. Moreover, the CoP velocity correlated inversely with the strength of ankle dorsi-flexion muscles and directly with CMTES as whole and with the item “motor symptoms legs”. Postural imbalance was not
correlated with sensory impairment and foot deformities as expressed by static analysis and Achilles’ tendon retraction.
In this study we demonstrated an altered balance in CMT1A patients during upright standing. The imbalance in our CMT patients seems to be related to the weakness of ankle dorsi-flexor muscles rather than sensory impairment or foot deformities. These results could be due to a mildly affected CMT1A population, evaluated in an early stage of the disease.