Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Other Treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS does not have a cure. It is vital that you learn hope to cope with the disease and ease the problems it may cause. The ways listed here may help:

Movement Problems

Rehabilitation

Physical therapy can help with muscle strength and tone, skills, and walking. Therapists use exercises and other methods to help keep you mobile.

Occupational therapists may have you use braces or assistive devices, such as walkers. You will also learn how to do tasks needed for daily living.

Speech and swallowing therapy may help if these tasks are hard for you. It makes the muscles in your mouth stronger. It can also help lower your risk of inhaling food or drink by accident.

Mental Health Issues

Therapy

Counseling can help you learn coping methods. These can help you deal with physical problems and mental stress. Many people have depression or other mental health problems. The disease may add to conflicts with family and friends.

A therapist can work with you to learn new coping skills or ways to cope with stress. Counselors can also help you deal with losses from the disease, such as not being able to work, changes to your life, or relying on others for housekeeping or care.

Experimental Treatments

Stem Cell Transplants

Researchers are looking at whether stem cell transplants can be used. There are many kinds. One that has been used for MS rebuilds the immune system with the person's own stem cells or ones from a donor. First, chemotherapy and radiation may be used to harm the system. Next, stem cells are put into the person's vein. They go through the blood to the bone cavities where they make healthy cells and platelets. If it goes well, the person's system builds itself back up without harming the nerve fiber's myelin sheath, which causes the symptoms of MS.

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor if symptoms get worse or you get new ones.

REFERENCES:

Burt RK, Loh Y, Stefosky D, et al. Autologous non-myeloablative haemopoietic stem cell transplantation in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: a phase I/II study. Lancet Neurology. 2009;8(3):244-253.

Mancardi GL, Sormani MP, Gualandi F, et al. Autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation in multiple sclerosis: a phase II trial. Neurology. 2015;84(10):981-988.

Minden SL, Feinstein A, et al. Evidence-based guidelines: assessment and management of psychiatric disorders in individuals with MS: report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2014 Jan 14;82(2):174-181.

Motl RW, Pilutti LA. The benefits of exercise training in multiple sclerosis. Nat Rev Neurol. 2012;8(9):487-497.

Multiple sclerosis (MS). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116285/Multiple-sclerosis-MS. Updated July 23, 2018. Accessed September 26, 2018.

Nash RA, Hutton GJ, Racke MK, et al. Hig-dose immunosuppressive therapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (HALT-MS): a 3-year interim report. JAMA Neurology. 2015;72(2):159-169.

NINDS multiple sclerosis information page. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Available at: https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Multiple-Sclerosis-Information-Page. Accessed September 27, 2018.

Northwestern University. Stem cell transplant reverses early-stage multiple sclerosis. Science Daily website. Available at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/01/090129213441.htm. Accessed September 27, 2018.

What is MS? National Multiple Sclerosis Society website. Available at: http://www.nationalmssociety.org/What-is-MS. Accessed September 27, 2018.

Last reviewed September 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD  Last Updated 9/26/2018