Mobility key to quality of life for MS sufferers

(Medical Xpress) -- Reduced mobility among patients with secondary‐progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS) is associated with a decline in quality of life, according to new data presented today at the 7th World Congress of NeuroRehabilitation in Melbourne.

According to  UNSW's Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Arun Krishnan, whether or not symptomatic treatments that improve might also make a positive contribution to ’ quality of life is an important focus for future research.

Professor Krishnan’s research looked at data derived from 160 placebo treated MS patients whose speed was measured using the Timed 25 Foot Walk (T25FW) test and then correlated this with quality of life measures (including a physical component summary scale, physical function, bodily pain and general health) over a two year period.

Overall, slower walking speed was associated with a decline in quality of life over two years. This association between walking speed and quality of life was independent of any treatment because the subjects were derived from the placebo arm of a clinical trial.

At two years, data showed that patients walked on average 19% slower. Physical component scores (like physical function and general health) declined in patients who walked more than 0.15 metres/second slower at month 24 compared with baseline and improved in the small number who walked greater than 0.15 metres/second faster.

Professor Krishnan says the findings are important as they suggest a clinical focus on the treatment of reduced mobility in MS patients might deliver significant benefits in the future to patients with secondary‐progressive .

“There are limited treatment options for patients whose MS is progressing and who are at the ‘secondary progressive’ phase. Whether treatments that improve walking also positively influence health‐related quality of life in MS patients is certainly an intriguing question for the future,” said Professor Krishnan.

Related Stories

Smoking marijuana impairs cognitive function in MS patients

date Feb 13, 2008

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) who smoke marijuana are more likely to have emotional and memory problems, according to research published February 13, 2008, in the online edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the ...

Drug improves mobility for some MS patients

date Feb 27, 2009

The experimental drug fampridine (4-aminopyridine) improves walking ability in some individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). That is the conclusion of a multi-center Phase 3 clinical trial, the results of which were published ...

Muscling in on multiple sclerosis

date Jan 26, 2012

Multiple sclerosis (MS), a neurodegenerative disease, causes periodic attacks of neurologic symptoms such as limb weakness and mobility defects. And while MS patients' walking abilities and muscle strength are examined on ...

Recommended for you

Nocturnal GERD tied to non-infectious rhinitis

date 10 hours ago

(HealthDay)—Nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) appears to be a risk factor for non-infectious rhinitis (NIR), according to a study published online March 24 in Allergy.

COPD takes big toll on employment, mobility in US

date 14 hours ago

(HealthDay)—The respiratory illness known as COPD takes a toll on mobility and employment, with a new report finding that nearly one-quarter of Americans with the condition are unable to work.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.