Home » Training on treadmill with VR helps relapsing-remitting MS patients

Training on treadmill with VR helps relapsing-remitting MS patients

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Training on a treadmill and use of virtual reality (VR) improves ambulation and cognition and alleviates relapsing-remitting depression multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, according to a new study.

Led by researchers from Tel Aviv’s Soulaski Medical Center and Sackler School of Medicine Tel Aviv University (TAU), which was conducted with colleagues from the University of Kansas and the Charité Hospital of the University of Berlin.

About 100 MS patients between the ages of 18 and 65 participated in the study, some of whom were led by Professor Arnon Karni, head of the hospital’s neuroimmune department, and Dr. Keren, head of MS services. Recruited from Regev’s Multiple Sclerosis Clinic.

In this study, 6 weeks of walking training on a treadmill improved walking speed with or without an additional task, and the addition of VR during walking further improved cognitive function in subjects with relapsing-remitting MS. It has been shown to reduce depression.

This was the largest randomized controlled study demonstrating that treadmill training, with or without the addition of a VR component, positively impacts several aspects of gait and mobility in MS patients.

How can new stem cell therapies help people with multiple sclerosis walk again? (Credit: Hadassah University Medical Center)

MS is the most common acquired chronic neurological disease affecting young adults, often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. There are treatments to slow the decline in patients, but there is no cure. Although there is no known single cause of MS, many genetic and environmental factors have been shown to contribute to its development.

In multiple sclerosis, the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacks and damages the fatty substance called myelin that surrounds nerves. Myelin is important for protecting and insulating nerves so that electrical messages sent from the brain to the rest of the body travel quickly and efficiently.

When myelin is destroyed during an attack of multiple sclerosis (a process called demyelination), patches of nerves become exposed and scarred, preventing the nerves from properly transmitting messages, like uninsulated wires. , at risk of subsequent degeneration. This prevents the brain from interacting with the rest of the body and can cause a variety of symptoms, including loss of motor function such as walking or hand and arm function, loss of sensation, pain, changes in vision, and changes in thinking. It means that you have sex. memory.

The relapsing-remitting form is the most common, in which patients recover after their symptoms worsen. The disorder does not get worse between recurrences, but each recurrence may be worse than before. The most common recurrent symptoms include episodic bouts of fatigue, numbness, visual disturbances, spasticity or stiffness, bowel and bladder problems, and cognitive problems with learning and memory or information processing.

MS patients also suffer from cognitive decline

IRINA GALPERIN, current PhD student tauNot only do such MS patients have problems walking and other physical functions, but some also suffer from cognitive decline, says Jeffrey Hausdorff of the School of Medicine and Sourasky’s Center for the Study of Movement, Cognition and Mobility. The professor explained, it may involve memory, executive function, etc. In addition to improving cognitive performance, improving locomotion skills, such as walking speed or walking while performing another task, can lead to a significant improvement in quality of life.

Multicenter joint research has recently journal of neurology entitled “Treadmill training using virtual reality to enhance gait and cognitive function in patients with multiple sclerosis: a randomized controlled trial.”

We tested the effects of walking on a treadmill in conjunction with VR for a variety of functions with and without additional work. Approximately 51 subjects exercised using a treadmill under the guidance of an attached physical therapist, and 53 subjects exercised on the treadmill with the addition of a virtual reality system projected onto a screen in front of them. I exercised in walk.

Training was carried out 3 times a week for 6 weeks. The participant arrived at the Tel Aviv Medical Center and her three others in the United States and Germany before the end of the intervention, one week after, and three months after him.

Both groups improved walking speed, pace, and other walking metrics by approximately 10% after training, with or without the additional task. Subjects trained with the addition of VR showed reduced rates of cognitive loss and levels of depression, as well as improvements in additional measures of cognition.

After 3 months, some of the benefits achieved during the training period, such as faster walking and better cognition, were still retained.

This kind of training could be an alternative to adjunctive drug treatment for sclerosis patients who suffer from cognitive impairment and depression, the researchers say. We also found that patients who were able to walk for 5 minutes continuously improved equally with exercise, regardless of whether they had mild or severe cases of MS.

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