Dance Out Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms

MS clinical trial is currently underway

(RxWiki News) Past studies have shown the popular video game, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), can help patients improve balance and mobility. Could this be a good treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS)?

A pilot study is underway to test the use of DDR to improve the physical and mental symptoms of MS.

"Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for clinical trials."

Anne Kloos, PhD of the Ohio State College of Medicine and colleagues study participants who exercise using DDR three times a week for eight weeks.

DDR is an interactive video game. Players move their feet to step on targets to musical rhythm.

The researchers believe the mental processing, coordination and exercise required to play DDR can help those with MS.

MS is an inflammatory disease that can hinder mental processing and coordination.

In this study, participants’ mental and physical functions are surveyed at the beginning and end of the trial. Patients also undergo magnetic resonance imaging  to monitor the circuitry of the brain.

The researchers hope doctors can use their data to give better health recommendations. They also have hopes that a DDR program can be used as a cost effective and easily accessible form of physical therapy.

“While prescribed formal therapy is the traditional route to rehabilitation in most of our minds, this is not the only option,” said Nancy D. Chiaravalloti, PhD, Director of Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation.  “Staying active, challenging the mind, and having fun can lead to increased health and improved functioning.”

Dr. Chiaravalloti suggests MS patients engage in aerobic exercise, continue to pursue cognitively challenging tasks and enjoy leisure activities to optimize their functioning and lead a fuller life.

“Patients need to realize that lifestyle choices all of us make - those with and without MS - play a large role in our functional abilities,” said Dr. Chiaravalloti.

The research is funded by a grant from the Ohio State Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

The study is expected to continue through December 2013.

People with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis between the ages of 30 and 59 who are interested in participating can find out more by visiting

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Review Date: 
March 13, 2013