According to a study, published in the 31 January 2018 online edition of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, a special programme of balance and eye movement exercises may help people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Scientists launched a two-arm, examiner-blinded, stratified (involvement Vs no involvement of brainstem/cerebellar structures), randomised controlled trial to determine whether a multifaceted vestibular-related rehabilitation programme (Balance and Eye-Movement Exercises for Persons with Multiple Sclerosis; BEEMS) improves balance in people with MS. They also explored whether there are differences in outcomes based on brainstem/cerebellar lesion involvement.
Eighty-eight participants were allocated to BEEMS or no treatment control. After six weeks, BEEMS participants experienced greater improvements compared to control participants in Computerized Dynamic Posturography-Sensory Organization Test (CDP-SOT) composite.
BEEMS participants with brainstem/cerebellar lesion involvement also experienced greater improvements compared to those without in CDP-SOT composite and Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) total scores.
Scientists concluded that BEEMS improved multiple outcomes regardless of whether brainstem/cerebellar lesions were present, supporting the generalisability of BEEMS for ambulatory people with MS who have at least minimally impaired balance and fatigue.