A condition where the immune system attacks the nervous system. Myelin is detached from neural cells causing motor and cognitive complications.
The nervous system is comprised of the brain and spinal cord. Each cell within the nervous system is coated with a protective fatty layer called myelin. Myelin serves to insulate and protect the neural cells from damage but also has a role in signal conduction. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) takes away the myelin coating, impairing signal transduction and cellular communication between different brain regions and the spinal cord.
The cause of MS is still unknown. Researchers are looking for genetic mutations as well as environmental factors that can be contributors. MS is debilitating as motor skills and cognitive function decline as the disease progresses. Patients experience fatigue, speech problems, depression and cognitive function. Areas affected by MS include processing-speed, memory, attention and visuospatial skills. Cognitive decline is experienced by at least 50% of patients, with severity increasing as the disease progresses.
Patients with MS often see a team of care providers. This team can be comprised of a combination of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, neuropsychologists, psychologists, social workers, and medical doctors. Certain medications are available to relieve symptoms of MS, but there is no cure. Patients undergoing cognitive, behavioral, and physical therapies may see a provider several times a week and do home exercises as well.
Care providers that are working with multiple sclerosis populations may provide cognitive remediation therapy. This form of therapy allows clients to practice cognitive skills in group and individual settings with a combination of digital and paper and pencil tools. HappyNeuron Pro is a digital platform clinicians can use to provide stimulating material for their clients with MS to improve weaker areas of cognition while maintaining strong ones.
Language, processing speed, memory, and motor functioning are impacted as MS progresses. Some exercises therapists working with MS populations can do with their clients include:
In addition to these suggested exercises, we provide content that focuses on other key domains of cognition such as Memory, Executive Function, Visual Memory, Language, Auditory Processing, and Verbal Memory.
Patients in the early stages of MS can live independently. As the disease progresses, patients may need to live in a specialized care facility or with a caregiver.
Therapy can be done at a patient’s home or within a clinical setting. Travel may be difficult for patients with MS as fatigue is a common complication of the disease. For this reason, the option to provide home training is very appealing. All that is needed to use HappyNeuron Pro is an internet connection and a compatible device such as a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. If a patient cannot travel to see you, you can assign exercises for the patient to complete at home and review their performance. This can allow you to continue therapy on difficult days or when a patient is experiencing a relapse of MS.
To see how we can be integrated into your practice and assist your clinicians providing care to MS patients, take time to complete our 15 Day Free Trial. You are able to access all of our digital content, as well as our free resources for additional material to use during your therapy sessions with your clients. If you are a researcher, please contact us about using our software for your research study.
Page last updated on Jan 10,2020