Cochrane Summaries

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The impact of excercise therapy for multiple sclerosis

Rietberg MB, Brooks D, Uitdehaag BMJ, Kwakkel G
Published Online: 
19 January 2011

MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system. The variable distribution of the damage in the myelin sheath of nerves may lead to loss of strength, sensation, co-ordination and balance causing severe and progressive limitations of function in daily life. To date, there is no effective treatment for MS, however, a number of studies suggest that exercise interventions aimed to improve daily functioning of patients with MS are effective. Nine randomized controlled trials of exercise therapy for MS patients were included in this review six of which used no therapy as the comparator. There was strong evidence in favor of exercise therapy, compared to no therapy, regarding muscle function and mobility while no evidence was found of improved fatigue, in one study only. No one specifically targeted exercise program was more successful than others. No eleterious effects were described in the included studies.