Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Exercise therapy builds strength, mobility in MS patients

23.02.2005


Exercise therapy can improve muscle strength, mobility and other signs of fitness in people with multiple sclerosis, according to a recent review of studies.



Nine high quality studies provide strong evidence that exercise therapy can make a difference in the daily living and quality of life of those with the disease, say Dr. Bernard Uitdehaag and colleagues of the Vrije Universitei Medical Centre in the Netherlands. Exercise therapy also improved the mood of MS patients in exercise therapy programs, compared to patients who did not participate in the therapy. The researchers did not find any evidence that exercise therapy affected patients’ fatigue or their sense of how ill they were.

Despite the evidence supporting exercise for MS patients, however, Uitdehaag says it’s too early to recommend systematic referral of patients for exercise training.


So far, there is no clear indication of how much exercise is beneficial for people who have various types of the degenerative disease, Uitdehaag explains. Only patients who seem able to exercise and who are sufficiently motivated to train should begin the therapy, he says. "Patients for exercise training should also be referred to therapists with sufficient experience in treating MS patients," Uitdehaag says.

The review appears in the January issue of The Cochrane Library, a publication of The Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research. Systematic reviews draw evidence-based conclusions about medical practice after considering both the content and quality of existing medical trials on a topic.

Multiple sclerosis is a degenerative nerve disease that damages the protective fatty sheath around nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Some patients experience a pattern of disease flare-up followed by disease free periods, while others may have a steady worsening of the disease over time. According to the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation, between 350,000 and 500,000 people in the United States currently have multiple sclerosis. "No intervention has proven effective in modifying long-term disease prognosis in multiple sclerosis, but exercise therapy is considered to be an important part of symptomatic and supportive treatment for these patients," Uitdehaag says.

Exercise therapy probably does not affect the disease process itself, according to co-author Dr. Gert Kwakkel. He says exercise may help "patients learn to compensate (for) their existing deficits. Systematic physical training may reduce disuse, in particular for those who suffer from fatigue."

The average of age of patients in the reviewed studies ranged from 34 to 51 years old, with varying types and severities of multiple sclerosis. The researchers suggest future studies should include a greater number of older individuals, severely disabled patients and patients who have been living with the disease for more than 18 years.

The studies also included a wide range of exercise programs and definitions of improved health and fitness, making it difficult to decide what kinds of exercise are best for MS patients. Uitdehaag and colleagues found no evidence that any specific exercise therapy programs were better for health and mobility than other exercise programs.

The researchers also found no signs in any of the studies that exercise therapy was harmful to the health of MS patients. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society suggests that MS patients exercise with frequent rest breaks, since heat can aggravate MS symptoms.

"With this type of exercise-rest-exercise patterns, physical therapy may be quite effective, with very good results," according to the Society’s recommendations.

Bernard Uitdehaag | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.vumc.nl
http://www.cochrane.org
http://www.cfah.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures
17.11.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht High speed video recording precisely measures blood cell velocity
15.11.2017 | ITMO University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>