MS News That Caught My Eye Last Week: Music, Resilience, Childhood Abuse, Exercise

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by Ed Tobias |

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Biogen, MedRhythms Working on Music Therapy for MS Gait Issues

This is music to my ears. Sorry, I couldn’t resist, but I’m a big music fan. Music in my ears really motivates me when I’m exercising. So the idea of using computer-based music therapy to improve someone’s gait has me whistling a happy tune. I’d love to try this platform.

Biogen has entered a licensing agreement to develop and potentially commercialize MedRhythms‘ investigational music-based digital therapy, MR-004, designed to help make walking easier for people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The partnership combines Biogen’s leadership and expertise in MS with MedRhythms’ digital therapeutics platform that uses sensors, algorithms, and music to improve walking. Two ongoing pilot studies are evaluating MR-004’s potential in patients with walking problems.

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Phase 3 Trial to Assess Benefits of Group Resilience Training Program

Resilience — the ability to bounce back — is an important part of living with MS. My quality of life wouldn’t be as good as it is today — over 40 years after my diagnosis — if I hadn’t been resilient. This program aims to enhance psychological flexibility based on the principles of acceptance and commitment therapy. This trial plans to enroll 240 MS patients in several locations across Italy.

A Phase 3 trial will test the ability of a group resilience training program, called READY, to promote quality of life and better psychosocial outcomes in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Involving more than 200 MS patients, the trial will compare the benefits of READY training against those of a group relaxation program with regard to resilience and other parameters such as mood and quality of life.

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Past Childhood Abuse Linked to Increased MS Risk in Norwegian Study

This study of almost 78,000 Norwegian women reports that 300 of them developed MS. Researchers relied upon Norwegian health registry data and hospital records. Of those 300, 71 (24%) had a history of some type of childhood abuse. Women who had experienced sexual abuse as a child had a 65% higher risk of developing MS. For those exposed to emotional abuse, there was a 40% heightened risk. The question is why. I wonder if it’s a matter of stress and trauma.

Women who were exposed to sexual or emotional abuse as children may be at an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS) later in life, according to a large study in Norway.

The risk was even higher among patients who experienced a combination of two or more types of abuse in their childhood, the researchers noted, adding that more research is needed to understand the biological mechanisms through which childhood trauma may contribute to MS.

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Stress-reducing Activities Linked to Lower Risk of Depression, Fatigue

Good to know, and this is certainly true for me. But isn’t this also true for healthy people?

Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients undertaking stress-reducing activities — particularly physical and relaxation activities or meditation — at least once a week are less likely to have depression, an international study shows.

Additional links were found between physical activity and reduced risk of fatigue, and between meditation and a greater sense of control over life circumstances — a coping resource called mastery.

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Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

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