Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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REVIEW: MANAGEMENT UPDATES
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 296-306

Rehabilitation challenges in multiple sclerosis


1 Director Program Development, Holy Name Hospital MS Center, Teaneck, New Jersey; and Chief Medical Officer, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA), Cherry Hill, New Jersey, USA
2 Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (Neurology), University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno, USA
3 Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (Neurology), University of Nevada School of Medicine, Reno; and Renown Medical Center, Rehabilitation Hospital, Reno, Nevada, USA

Correspondence Address:
Jack S Burks
Burks & Associates, 650 John Fremont Dr., Reno, NV 89509
USA
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-2327.58273

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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 neurological 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.


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