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MS Article or Multiple Sclerosis Article:

Taming Multiple Sclerosis

by Retraining MS Brain and

Nerves to Function Again

Is retraining the MS brain a possible way for helping with taming the effects of Multiple Sclerosis?

Previously, the overall medical community thought that Multiple Sclerosis was untameable, since both the MS disease process and the causes of Multiple Sclerosis
were not understood much at all.

All that could be don at that point in time was to chase symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, in an attempt to bring some relief to those who suffered with Multiple Sclerosis.

But -- as MS research progresses further into understanding more about the MS disease process and more about how to assist our bodies into repairing from the nerve damage that is often a result of the Multiple Sclerosis attacks on the body, the thought that there was little that could be done to help peopl recover more from the effects of MS on the body is changing.

As more things are coming to light about what may help more with taming Multiple Sclerosis, not just with searching for ways to reduce MS symptoms chasing Multiple Sclerosis symptoms around alone, more can be done for us to actually help our bodies recover more of what we may have been unable to do because of the often devastating effects of MS on our bodies.

More is also being understood about how ms physical therapy and other types of ms therapies can help with reducing the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on the body by retraining and reprogramming the body to function better again.

Physical therapy and other forms of ms therapies have been used more with MS patients over the last 10 years, and the positive results have been noticeable in the majority of cases of Multiple Sclerosis. These results give us a much more positive outlook on how well physical therapy and other MS therapies can help those of us diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis to recover more of our abilities to function.

The idea behind why this can help those of us with MS to function better again is because doctors and ms researchers alike have been finding that the nerves throughout the brain and the rest of the body can be exercised more like a muscle can be exercised.

Previously it was thought that the brain became more "fixed" and "unchangeable" as the body aged.

But the neuroscientists and other brain researchers have been finding out that even people over the age of 70 can retrain their brains to function better by doing brain exercises to reconnect or redevelop the neural pathways through out the brain.

This means that research has determined that the "plasticity" of the brain allows a greater possibility to redevelop the brain's ability to function better again, even in spite of a stroke or other damage to the neurons in the brain.

Thanks to the research team of Posit Science, led by Chief Scientific Officer, Michael Merzenich, Ph.D. of the University of California at San Francisco, we understand more about brain "plasticity", than we did previously.

Dr. Michael Merzenich, gathered a group of neuroscientists from around the world to delve deeper into the idea that
the nerves in the brain are more "plastic" or retrainable than was thought previously.

Thanks to their research, further knowledge has been gained in understanding more of how to exercise the nerves to gain more effective results of not only reducing the symptoms of many of the more devastating diseases on body, but of developing ways to actually help the nerves throughout the brain to start to learn to function more effectively again.

The idea that the nerves can be retrained is not new, but within the last 10 years, more is being done to use physical exercise to retrain the rest of the body, as in the case of people that have had a severe stroke, where neurons in the brain are damaged or destroyed.

This idea of retraining and redeveloping the neural pathways through out the body is being pursued more for those of us that have been given the Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis.

Likewise, doing physical therapy can help to regenerate damaged nerves and reconnect neural pathways to help the body function better again, even after the often devastating effects of Multiple Sclerosis on the body that have resulted in demyelination of the spine, scarring or plaques in the brain or possibly even nerve damage through out different parts of the body.

How can doing MS physical therapy be used to help with Taming Multiple Sclerosis?

Doing intense physical therapy with those that have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis can help to exercise both the mind and body as it retrains and reconnects the neural pathways again.

The way this works is because the nerves can be exercised more like muscles, but it does take more consistent retraining over a longer period of time when you are working with retraining and redeveloping nerves than it would take to exercise muscle.

Some of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis that Physical therapy can help to improve include the following:

* reduce spasticity

* increase muscle strength

* increase muscle mass

* improve overall physical balance

* improve how well a person can stand by improving balance during movement

* improve how long a person with MS can stand before they have to sit down and rest, by improving endurance and stamina.

*  help retrain the nerves to straignten out the nerve signal that are scrambled.

* help to retrain the legs to stand again (even it has been a while), help to retrain the legs to walk again by helping to retrain the brain to get accustomed to the movement of walking again, while retraining and redeloping the nerves in the legs to function again.

*gets your circulation going better again, which helps to bring more oxygen to the brain and the rest of the body and speed healing on a cellular level.

* redevelops neural pathways again (where they no longer appear to function because of the effects of MS on the body

This is just a shor summary of the benefits that doing different types of exercises can help with.

Different Types of Additional MS therapy or MS exercises can include:

Occupational Therapy

* Helps to evaluate a person that has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis to see if they can return to working again within a shorter period of time (typically a few months).

* Helps to retrain the person to do average tasks that are required to perform many job-related tasks.

Speech Therapy

* Retrains the person with Multiple Sclerosis to be able to speak more clearly again, to reduce stuttering, slurring words or problems with forming words or being able to speak more clearly to make it easier to understand what the person affected by MS is trying to say.

Sometimes the ability to speak can become much more difficult because of the effects of Multiple Sclerosis on the Speech Center of the brain.

Stuttering, dyslexia, memory problems, cognitive problems and sometimes even visiual problems can all interfere with the ability to form sentences or be able to carry on a "normal" conversation or to express what one is feeling.

Speech therapy helps to retrain the different parts of the brain that are involved in being able to form sentences and be able to reason through the process of forming ideas and concepts to help reconnect the needed neural pathways to improve the ability to carry on conversations, convey concepts and thoughts, as well as helping the brain to interprete what other people are saying to you.

Water (Aqua) Therapy

* Allows the person with MS to be able to exercise while reducing the fatigue that is often associated with more intense exercising.

* Can retrain a person to walk again in water, even if they can not walk on land by supporting the weight of the body without added exertion by the person undergoing the therapy.

Horse (Equine) Therapy

* Exercising on a horse strengthens the muscles, and helps to retrain the brain to get used to the movement and natural gait of walking again, even if the person is not able to physically walk for a more extended period of time.

* Equine therapy has the potential of being able to help people, that have been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis walk again, by retraining the brain to become more accustomed to what it is like for the body to walk again, since the natural gait of a horse walking is very similar to the walking gait of a human being.

* This means that once the person's balance has improved, so tat they can stay on the horse, just having the horse walk around with the person sitting on the horse can actually retrain the brain with the motion of the movement of walking, even if the person is unable to walk yet.

Brain Strengthening Exercises and Therapy

* Helps to redevelop Neural Pathways in different parts of the brain, which have been damaged or confused by the scarring that can result from Multiple Sclerosis.

* This typically involves exercises specifically designed to stimulate and strengthen specific parts of the brain.  Different specific parts of the brain are retrained to function better, by reconnecting neural pathways within that specific part of the brain.

After a few different parts of the brain have been exercised and strengthened, then exercises can be done to reconnect the nerural pathways between these different parts of the brain so taht they communicate better with each other and work together better again.

All of these brain exercises have the overall effect of allowing those with Multiple Sclersis to function better on a daily basis.

* This can include increasing the ability to speak, increasing how well we can form sentences, increasing how well we can think logically, improving memory (both short and long term), increasing the ability to respond to outside stimulation, and improving how quickly our brains can respond to what is going on around us, and increasing cognitive function, increasing how well our brains recall past memories and how well we can develop newer memories, including many other functions that the body performs on a daily basis.

Brain Retraining Therapy

* Helps to retrain how the brain responds to any stimulation by basically resetting what is considered the average brain wave pattern to be at a higher level.

* Several different methods, medical devices and techniques fall under this category, that stimulate the brain in different ways to help improve how well the individual can function.

* Learning something new -- this pushes the brain to generate new healthy nerve cells.  We can generate new nerve cells in our brains to help rebuild the part of the brain that has acually be severely damaged or has destroyed nerve cells.

This has been found to be the case in several cases of severely damaged brains of severe stroke patients (that have had a large percentage of their brains destroyed by the stroke -- even those who had 90% of their brain destroyed by a stroke).

Even these more severe patients have recoved most of their abilities to function after they have been given intense physical therapy for an extended period of time (a year or so), which pushed their brains to generate new nerve cells in the brain, to redevelop nerve pathways throughout the "newly" developed nerve cells in the brain and to help the different pars of the brain to learn to "talk" to each other again and learn to work toegether.

This same idea can be used for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis.

As more and more doctors are turning to sending their MS patients for more extreme physical therapy for a few months at a time, these doctors are finding that their MS patients are recovering more of their ability to function on a more regular basis.

Doing different types of exercises can help with  Taming Multiple Sclerosis by using the exercises as a way of retraining or possibly even regenerating nerves.

It is being brought to the fore front of nerve regeneration research, that the 2 main ways that we can retrain our bodies are:

* Retrain the brain by redeloping neural pathways and generating new nerve cells throughout the brain is by retraining and regenerating the nerves in our brains and the nerves through out the rest of our bodies using different types of exercises.

Since the brain has to have more plasticity through various forms of research that has been done on the brain, this has been showing that the damaged parts of the brain, from brain damage from an accident or a fall, for people that have had severe strokes and for those of us with scarring in the brain because of the damage to the brain that Multiple Sclerosis can cause are all reversible to a large degree by redeveloping neural pathways through doing brain exercises.

It has also been discovered that there are ways to regenerate nerve cells within the brain that have been damaged to the point of the point of "no return" on brain cells in certain parts of the brains that have been attacked or damaged in one way or another.

More methods are being developed that help to both reconnect neural pathways and regenerate dead nerve cells in the brain.

This is good news for those of us with Multiple Sclerosis that have suffered mild to severe scarring in the brain, from previous Multiple Sclerosis attacks on our brains.

It will take some work on our parts to help aid the brain into regenerating the neurons in the brain, but that means that we aren't "stuck" with what damage Multiple Sclerosis has caused to our brains.

The other way that nerves can be regenerated throughout the rest of the body is through physical therapy or exercise.

MS research has also been finding that if we can find ways to exercise the muscles their are connected to the damaged or confused nerves in our bodies, this can help to reconnect the nerves and regenerate damaged nerves!

Regenerating nerves requires consistency in doing the exercises for a monger period of time (a few months up to a year or two), since nerves take longer to regenerate than muscles, but even if we can't afford to pay to go to physical therapy, we can start to do our own physical therapy at home to regain our abilities to function some initially and then add more different types of exercises, while pushing ourselves to go a little further each time that we exercise.

We can actually help to increase our own stamina and reduce the fatigue that we can experience from doing exercise over time.

Start out doing what you can and gradually more things that challenge your body to work to improve how well your muscles and your nerves can function a few days each week.

Over time you will see improvement if you keep pressing forward to reach your goal of walking, standing, driving, working, or whatever -- whatever you were unable to do before you started doing your own physical therapy.

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2010. TamingMultipleSclerosis.com All Rights Reserved.