Rehabilitation of Multiple Sclerosis Patients.

TitleRehabilitation of Multiple Sclerosis Patients.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsKraft GH, Bombardier CH, Bowen JD, Ehde DM, Fraser RT, Haselkorn JK, Johnson KL, Yorkston KM
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects 350,000 people in the United States. Recent research has resulted in four drugs to slow its course, but they do not improve function. Rehabilitation is still the only way to improve function and to reduce disability and handicap in this disease. MS is an ideal disease for physiatric management; it combines weakness, spasticity, tremor, incontinence, pain, and cognitive deficit, and is unstable and progressive. It is also an excellent disease to teach various strategies of physiatric management, but it presents many aspects that need research. In 1983, NIDRR addressed this by creating an MS Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (MS RRTC), and in 1990 the National MS Society established a study section to fund rehabilitation research. In 1998, the MS RRTC was moved from New York to the West Coast. This presentation will discuss the current research of the MS RRTC to improve health through exercise, fatigue and stress management, wellness promotion by support and substance control, depression treatment utilizing medications and counseling, and demonstrate ways to improve MS employment. Other MS RRTC projects to evaluate the effect of aging on MS and the demographics of the disease will be discussed.

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