Purpose: To assess impairments, disabilities and handicap pattern in konzo. Method: The study included 17 konzo subjects, of which three were males and 14 females (mean age 21, median 18 years). A detailed neurological examination was performed on all subjects. Subsequently, an assessment of impairments, disabilities and handicap was done with a constructed rating scale partially based on the ICIDH-2 framework. Results: The overall disablement picture in all subjects consisted of motor dysfunction in lower limbs leading to limitations in walking and movement activities, and restrictions in mobility. Hip mobility was severely impaired in most cases (15/17). Although konzo subjects showed normal muscle power in upper limbs (13/17), they had impaired fine motor function (10/17). Conclusion: Further studies are needed to assess the effectiveness of the WHO criteria for konzo in defining its forms. The applicability of the ICIDH-2 framework in this study demonstrates the possibility of its use as a common language among researchers in the field of motor disorders. However, a revision is suggested of its taxonomy, and a definition of operational criteria to clarify the content of different qualifiers provided to assess the level of functioning or disability.
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