A new study out of the University of Colorado suggests that daily eye and balance exercises could dramatically reduce the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Study authors hope their research will make these simple yet effective exercises a standard therapy for MS patients.
For this study, researchers sent 44 MS patients for vision and balancing exercises two times per week for six weeks and then once per week for eight weeks. All of these patients were encouraged to practice everything they learned at these sessions every day. 44 other MS patients without eye or balance training served as the control group.
Before the guided exercise sessions began, scientists recorded data on each patient’s symptoms. When they compared this data with patients’ initial scores, scientists found that the group who did the exercises had fewer balance issues than the control group. On top of that, investigators found that the exercise group experienced less brain fog.
MS is considered an autoimmune disease in which a patient’s immune system attacks its own nerve cells. A few key symptoms of MS include dizziness, trouble balancing, hazy vision, and memory problems. It’s currently estimated that about 2.5 million people around the world have some degree of MS.
Although there’s no cure for MS, there are many ways doctors can help patients manage their symptoms. A few lifestyle changes that have been shown to help MS patients include meditation, earthing, eating omega-3 rich foods, and taking vitamin D3 supplements.
A few key authors on this study include Drs. Jeffrey R. Hebert, John R. Corboy, and Timothy Vollmer. All three of these professors work at the University of Colorado’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.
Anyone interested in this research should check out the latest edition of the journal Neurology. This article is listed under the title, “Efficacy of Balance and Eye-Movement Exercises for Persons With Multiple Sclerosis (BEEMS).”