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Multidisciplinary rehabilitation for adults with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders: A pilot study

Dong-Mei Suo, Lin-lin Liu, Kun Jia, Lin-jie Zhang, Li-Min Li, Jing Wang, Yuan Qi, Hai-jie Liu, Chun-Xiao Wan, Li Yang
Department of Neurology and Tianjin Neurological Institute, Tianjin Medical University General Hospital, Tianjin, China
DOI: 10.2340/16501977-2587

Preview of fully accepted paper, still not published in any volume

Abstract

Objective: To provide detailed data on the effects of multidisciplinary rehabilitation for patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder with moderate to severe disability.
Design: A pilot randomized control study.
Subjects/patients: A total of 39 patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder were randomized into intervention or control groups.
Methods: The intervention group received multidisciplinary rehabilitation 5 times/week for 4 weeks in a hospital, and the patients were guided to continue community- or home-based rehabilitation for 3 months. The control group did not receive any specific rehabilitation intervention. Disability was assessed using the Extended Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and Functional Systems (FS) scores after 4 weeks of rehabilitation and 3 months of follow-up.
Results: The mean EDSS score was 7.5 at admission for both groups. Improvements (p<0.05) in the EDSS score and domains of bowel, bladder and motor functions (pyramidal and walking function) were noted in the multidisciplinary rehabilitation group after 4 weeks. After 3 months, the patients in the usual care group showed improvement in EDSS score and walking ability score; however, no significant changes in other variables were noted.
Conclusion: These results suggest that multidisciplinary rehabilitation potentially promotes motor functional recovery in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders.

Lay Abstract

The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of multidisciplinary rehabilitation for patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders who have moderate to severe disability. In 39 patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders, disability was assessed after 4 weeks of rehabilitation and 3 months of follow-up. In the patients who underwent multidisciplinary rehabilitation, bowel and bladder and motor functions (pyramidal and walking function) were improved compared with those with usual care. These results confirm the short-term effectiveness of multidisciplinary rehabilitation in patients with neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorders in terms of improving impairment. The results also suggest that multidisciplinary rehabilitation is a safe and feasible therapy for adults with neuromyelitis optica who have severe disability.

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