The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has posted notice that  investigators at the University of Alabama (Birmingham) are recruiting a study of  relapsing-remitting, secondary-progressive, or primary-progressive MS patients.   The study intends to recruit up to 66 patients to receive different types of physical therapy that have been designed to increase movement of the arm in MS sufferers.  The study will assess the relative effectiveness of different therapeutic approaches to reducing the impact of what is commonly called ‘learned nonuse’ in MS patients.

Evidence that physical therapy has a positive effect improving neurological disorders such as stroke and cerebral palsy has researchers wondering if learned nonuse in MS could similarly be successfully targeted for therapeutic improvement – two different approaches will be assessed.

To date, Hospital Angeles has treated and scheduled more than 50 patients; while there is not yet an adequate quantity of date to speak in quantitative terms about CCSVI outcomes in segmented (i.e. by type of MS) rather than overall terms, a few consistent observations are emerging.

Initially, it appears that most patients are experiencing some level of returning function, some almost immediately.   A number report, post procedure, find themselves overdoing physical activity.  Unaccustomed to increased sensation, motility and other symptom relief, patients report unwittingly engaging in too much activity for legs and feet not yet accustomed to restored function.

CCSVI patients can plan for this by discussing with a neurological therapist before receiving the Liberation procedure, what exercises and movements might aid in the preparation for increased activity, as well as relieve soreness and reduce the likelihood of post exertion-related spasms.

Patients planning/scheduled for CCSVI treatment are strongly encouraged to consider available therapy options accessible from their homes in advance of their CCSVI treatment abroad.   Although a number of CCSVI treatment providers may offer a type of rehabilitative services, any rehabilitative activity immediately post-treatment is necessarily limited to a sort of maneuvering of the contently changing unknown.

The real work of rehabilitation and the path it will take will only occur over a period of time as the shifting limits of returned functionality are better understood.

Despite this limitation, rehabilitative exercises immediately post procedure can assist patients making the transition to an unaccustomed level of activity, navigating the unexpected challenges that can accompany restored mobility.

Keeping a journal of post-procedure changes in function (Motor Activity Log) will help patients not only track changes in function over time (e.g. at six months, twelve months, etc), but will also help track the otherwise difficult-to-attribute progression of response to rehabilitative activity.

The medical team at Hospital Angeles looks forward to working with CCSVI patient -neurologist teams to maintain the Motor Activity Log immediately, six months, and 12 months after the end of treatment., as well as plan for the tracking of other clinical scales of measure of disease activity (such as measures of changes to brain structure on MRI scans), overall function, and quality of life.