Angelo Pappalardo, Emanuele D’Amico, Clara Chisari and Francesco Patti
Introduction: Multiple Sclerosis is the leading cause of no traumatic disability in young people. Nowadays, neurorehabilitation is commonly prescribed in patients with MS, but there are still some issues to be explored further. In this review, we discuss the following topics: 1) the neuroscientific basis of neurorehabilitation in multiple sclerosis; 2) what would be the ideal set of rehabilitative treatment: inpatients, outpatient or home-based therapy?
Methods: A systematic search was made, using combination of the following terms: rehabilitation, multiple sclerosis, disability, plasticity, motor learning, cognitive rehabilitation, quality of life.
Results: A growing amount of evidence suggest that motor and cognitive rehabilitation may enhance functional and structural brain plasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis. Improvement of function seems to be correlated with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging changes in brain. Moreover, several studies show the effectiveness of cognitive rehabilitation to improve some domains of neuropsychological functions, such as attention, information processing and executive functions.
Regarding the rehabilitative setting, it should be chosen taking into account the personal needs of each patient. All the studies, performed in different setting, demonstrated the effectiveness of rehabilitation in Persons affected by multiple sclerosis.
Conclusion: Rehabilitation is effective in mitigating disability and improving QoL in persons with MS. Setting for rehabilitation treatment should be chosen taking into account many personal needs and desires of each patient.