Francois Bethoux, MD: Using the Arts in MS Management


The director of rehabilitation services at Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center for MS spoke about the impact that participation in the arts can have for individuals with multiple sclerosis in dealing with symptoms of their disease.

“[It’s] actually an old topic—how we can use the arts in health care—but my belief right now is that we could go from something that’s nice to have, [this] involvement with the arts, to something that we really must have, particularly with the latest developments in health care.”

For some time, the idea of introducing the creative arts to individuals with certain diseases has been floated around medical centers. Some neurologic conditions, such as multiple sclerosis (MS), often come with some difficulties in ambulation as well as mental health comorbidities, both of which may be helped with the participation in an art form such as music or painting.

Francois Bethoux, MD, director, rehabilitation services, Cleveland Clinic Mellen Center for MS, is a believer that for patients with MS, the incorporation of the arts into a treatment plan has essentially become a must. At the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC), May 28-June 1, in Seattle, Washington, Bethoux sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss how physicians who are treating these people can introduce the arts to their patients.

Bethoux shared his experiences with how patients can derive a benefit from the arts, as well as how participation in creative outlets can alter the function of the brain, at least temporarily. He suggested a number of ways that the arts could be “prescribed” to help patients deal with some of the issues they face due to their disease.

For more coverage of CMSC 2019, click here.


Bethoux F. Using the arts in the management of MS. Presented at: CMSC 2019; May 28 to June 1, 2019; Seattle, Washington.

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