Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Exercise therapy builds strength, mobility in MS patients


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:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke 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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>