Promote exercise rehabilitation as a new and powerful tool for managing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Promote exercise rehabilitation as a new and powerful tool for managing the symptoms of multiple sclerosis

Dr. Brian Sandroff oversees a research participant in an MS exercise study at the Kessler Foundation. Credit: Kessler Foundation

Experts in rehabilitation research speak with reference to recent evidence to integrate training into the care plans of people with multiple sclerosis. The central role that neurologists play in clinical care allows them to promote exercise as a basis for dealing with the physical and cognitive symptoms of MS.

The article, “The neurologist as an agent of exercise rehabilitation in multiple sclerosis,” was published in Exercise and sports science reviews 2021 1 Oct. The authors are Brian Sandroff, Ph.D., of the Kessler Foundation, Emma V. Richardson, Ph.D., of the University of Worcester (UK), and Robert W. Motl, Ph.D., of the University of Illinois Chicago.

Mounting evidence supports exercise as an important tool for dealing with manifestations of MS, including fatigue, depression, and decline in physical mobility, balance, and cognition. While disease-modifying therapies can slow the progression of illness and disability, they do not alleviate symptoms or impairments that adversely affect quality of life. Despite the benefits of exercise, physical inactivity is reported by 80 percent of people with MS.

To promote training for people with MS, the authors describe a conceptual model on three levels based on patient-provider interactions. The basis of the pyramid-shaped framework is to prepare providers for their role as agents of change through professional training and support; the intermediate level is centered on the interaction between patient and provider and the provision of the necessary resources for training protocols, and the top outlines the objective and monitoring needed to achieve a shift from inactivity to active lifestyle.

“This model is ripe for use in a clinical setting,” said lead author Brian Sandroff, Ph.D., senior researcher at the Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research at the Kessler Foundation and director of the Center’s Exercise Neurorehabilitation Research Laboratory. “Incorporating exercise rehabilitation into the armamentarium of treatment options has the potential to transform MS care,” he stressed. “We see a key role for neurologists in not only promoting the benefits of exercise for members of their care team and their patients, but in ensuring access to the resources needed to implement behavior change.”

The authors recognize the challenges involved in implementing this practice model and the need for research that bridges the gap between knowledge and clinical practice. The authors suggest the development of a clinical toolkit as a practical approach to promoting exercise in the care plans of people with MS. “From a research perspective, such a tool could add to our knowledge of physical activity in this population and accelerate a reassessment of the effect of exercise on multiple endpoints,” noted Dr. Sandroff. “This will help guide the development of training protocols that achieve maximum results.”


Exercise, cognitive study in patients with progressive multiple sclerosis highlights the need for randomized controlled trials


More information:
Brian M. Sandroff et al., The Neurologist as an Agent for Exercise Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis, Reviews of training and sports science (2021). DOI: 10.1249 / JES.00000000000000262

Provided by the Kessler Foundation

Citation: Promoting Exercise Rehabilitation as a New and Powerful Tool for Managing Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis (2021, December 30) Retrieved December 30, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-12-powerful-tool-symptoms-multiple -sclerosis. html

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