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Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2009 Oct;12(4):296-306. doi: 10.4103/0972-2327.58273.

Rehabilitation challenges in multiple sclerosis.

Author information

  • 1Medicine (Neurology), University School of Medicine, Reno, Nevada; and Chief Medical Officer, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA), Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA.

Abstract

While current immunomodulating drugs aim to reduce multiple sclerosis (MS) exacerbations and slow disease progression, rehabilitation aims to improve and maintain the functional abilities of patients in the face of disease progression. An increasing number of journal articles are describing the value of the many rehabilitation interventions that can be used throughout the course of the disease, from the initial symptoms to the advanced stages. An integrated team of healthcare professionals is necessary to address a myriad of problems to reduce impairments, disabilities, and handicaps. The problems may be related to fatigue, weakness, spasticity, mobility, balance, pain, cognition, mood, relationships, bowel, bladder, sexual function, swallowing, speech, transportation, employment, recreation, and activities of daily living (ADL) such as dressing, eating, bathing, and household chores. The team can help prevent complications and secondary disabilities, while increasing patient safety. Improving neurologically related function, maintaining good relationships, and feeling productive and creative adds enormously to the quality of life of people with MS and their families. Rehabilitation is more than an 'extra' service that is given after medical therapies; it is an integral part of the management of the diverse set of problems encountered throughout the course of the disease. An interdisciplinary team may have many members, including physicians, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, psychotherapists, social workers, recreational therapists, vocational rehabilitation therapists, patients, families, and other caregivers.

KEYWORDS:

Multiple sclerosis; rehabilitation

PMID:
20182578
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC2824958
Free PMC Article
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