The professor of public health and sports science at Aarhus University shared his perspective on the potential to modify multiple sclerosis disease progression with lifestyle interventions. [WATCH TIME: 2 minutes]
WATCH TIME: 2 minutes
“For many years, we have been really waiting until patients have started to show physical impairments and mental impairments before we start treating them. Our agenda here is that we need to prevent these things from an early time point.”
Although the benefits of exercise for general health are well-known, it was only until recently that some literature suggest that intervening with modifiable lifestyle factors, like exercise, could have a disease-modifying effect on multiple sclerosis (MS). Although early, these data imply that exercise could further slow progression when coupled with high-efficacy therapy.
At the 2022 European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ECTRIMS) Congress, a hot topic session covered this facet of MS clinical care. Ulrik Dalgas, PhD, a professor of public health and sports science at Aarhus University, is among the many members of the MS care team that is stressing the importance of adopting these tactics with patients. In a conversation with NeurologyLive®, he spoke to the need to intervene early with patients to establish healthy habits with exercise.
Dalgas noted that for some time, in general, the field has somewhat refused to act early on incorporating exercise into the clinical care paradigm for MS, as often, conversations with patients about these behaviors have not begun until the problems have already arisen. He explained that by speaking with patients about these modifications earlier, physicians can set up patients for long-term success.