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Multifaceted Rehab Program Improves Balance in MS

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 31, 2018 -- For patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), a multifaceted vestibular-related rehabilitation program (Balance and Eye-Movement Exercises for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis [BEEMS]) is associated with improved outcomes, according to a study published online Jan. 31 in Neurology.

Jeffrey R. Hebert, P.T., Ph.D., from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, and colleagues conducted a trial involving 88 participants with MS who were randomly allocated to BEEMS or no treatment control.

The researchers found that BEEMS participants experienced greater improvements compared with control participants in balance control, as measured by the Computerized Dynamic Posturography-Sensory Organization Test (CDP-SOT; model-estimated difference in change, 4.9), the Dizziness Handicap Inventory (DHI; −13.5), the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) total (−11.4), and the Short Form-36 Health Status Questionnaire (SF-36) Mental and Physical (5.6 and 3.5, respectively) scores from baseline to six weeks. From baseline to 14 weeks, BEEMS participants experienced greater improvements in CDP-SOT composite (8.3), DHI total (−13.9), MFIS total (−12.3), and SF-36 Mental and Physical (3.9 and 3.2, respectively) scores. Relative to those without, BEEMS participants with brainstem/cerebellar lesion involvement experienced greater improvements in CDP-SOT composite (5.26) and MFIS total (−7.6) scores from baseline to six weeks.

"BEEMS improved multiple outcomes regardless of whether brainstem/cerebellar lesions were present, supporting the generalizability of BEEMS for ambulatory people with MS who have at least minimally impaired balance and fatigue," the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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Posted: January 2018