A new clinical trial assessing the effect of a new rehabilitation method called action observation therapy on balance and gait in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is now open. 

The randomized, parallel assignment, double-masked study sponsored by Shiraz University of Medical Sciences in Iran will recruit an estimated 28 patients, 18 to 45 years of age, with spastic primary progressive, secondary progressive, or relapsing-remitting MS. Patients must have an Expanded Disability Status Scale score between 3 and 6 and a Mini-Mental State Examination test score of at least 24 to be able to take part in the study.

Participants will be divided into 2 groups. Those in the first will watch exercise videos related to balance and walking and practice the same exercises as in the video. Those in the second group will watch nature videos and then practice exercises similar to those in the first group. 


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The primary outcome measures will be the patient’s ability to safely balance, performance in activities of daily living, and disability as assessed by the Berg Balance Scale, Barthel Index, and Functional Independence Measure, respectively.

The secondary outcome measure will be the level of chronic fatigue evaluated using the Fatigue Assessment Scale.

The study is not yet recruiting participants but is expected to start on January 1, 2023. The estimated completion date is July 1, 2023.

Movement problems, especially walking issues, are one of the main symptoms of MS. These can greatly affect a person’s quality of life. Rehabilitation aims to improve movement problems.

Action observation therapy is a new rehabilitation method in which motor retraining is achieved through the activation of mirror neurons by watching activities on a screen and then practicing them. It can be used to treat neurological disorders, including cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, strokes, and MS.

Reference

The effects of action observation therapy (AOT) on balance and gait in patients with multiple sclerosis. US National Library of Medicine. September 16, 2022. Accessed September 30, 2022.