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 Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>