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News & Press: Industry News for MS (INforMS)

CMSC INforMS: #CMSC16 – MS Duration and Disability Level Variously Impacts Arm Function

Tuesday, June 07, 2016  
Posted by: Elizabeth Porco
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Most research in multiple sclerosis (MS) has focused on the impact of the disease on the lower extremities. To balance this, researchers at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital in Connecticut thoroughly characterized upper arm and hand functions in MS patients, finding that disease duration and disability level differently affected various measures  — knowledge that might help to build better rehabilitation interventions.

Presented at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) 2016 Annual Meeting June 1-4 in National Harbor, Maryland, the study was one of many excellent contributions to a session titled “Rehabilitation Interventions.” The CMSC meeting is a highlight for researchers and clinicians in the MS field, who gather to discuss new approaches and findings.

The study, titled “Associations Between Upper-Extremity Body Functions and Clinical Characteristics Among Persons with Multiple Sclerosis,” enrolled 267 patients from a comprehensive MS center.

All patients in the cohort were subjected to extensive testing, including investigation of the active range of motion of shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists, and index fingers. Isometric arm strength (raising and lowering the arms), grip strength, grip endurance, coordination, tremor, vibration sensation, and tactile sensation were also measured. Most tests were performed on both the dominant and nondominant side. Disability level was measured using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS).

Researchers noted that measures of active range of motion, strength, coordination, vibration and tactile sensation were associated with age, while gender was the only predictor of strength.

The active range of motion of the shoulders, as well as grip strength, coordination, and tactile sensation on both sides of the body were found to be associated with the level of disability. Disease duration, on the other hand, was linked to grip strength, coordination, lowering of the arm, and wrist flexion on both sides.

Several measures of the active range of motion from the dominant side also correlated with disease duration, while for the nondominant side, only wrist extension was tied to the duration of illness.

The research team also noted that associations between various measures and disease duration or EDSS score tended to differ between the dominant and nondominant sides.

In conclusion, the team believes that a better understanding of the upper arm and hand function parameters in MS patients who have different disability levels may help in the development of more adequate rehabilitation programs.

By Magdalena Kegel

Multiple Sclerosis News Today

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The industry news information and articles are for informational purposes only, and are not intended to represent any trends, partnerships, commitments, or research of the Consortium of MS Centers or any of it's members in any way whatsoever, nor should any party be libel in any way to the reader or to any other person, firm or corporation reading this industry news section. Although the CMSC site includes links providing direct access to other Internet sites, CMSC takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, and does not exert any editorial or other control over those other sites. CMSC is providing information and services on the Internet as a benefit and service in furtherance of CMSC's nonprofit and tax-exempt status. CMSC makes no representations about the suitability of this information and these services for any purpose.

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