There are approximately three million people with multiple sclerosis all over the world. This disease usually appears in people around thirty years of age, and more often in women than men.
In a study by Doctor Walter Troni, neurologist at the Fornaca Clinic, in collaboration with the Neurology Department (and Regional Reference Point for multiple sclerosis) of San Luigi di Orbassano Hospital, directed by Doctor Antonio Bertolotto, a new technique was developed in order to verify motor function in patients with multiple sclerosis and measure the efficacy of the therapy.
The study lasted two years and involved dozens of patients. Then, the prestigious US scientific journal “Plos One”, finally published it.
How was the study conducted?
This work took into consideration the inferior limbs, because multiple sclerosis cause a more evident neurological damage there. The motor conduction rate, along with the corticospinal tract was mapped, as well as the time that elapses between the sending of the motor order by the brain and its arrival in the muscles of the leg.
In a single sitting, this technique lets the specialist trace the central motor conduction damage that affects proximal (thigh) and distal (foot) muscles of inferior limbs.
“In the instrumental analysis of motor function, the most reliable datum is the assessment of the nerve impulse’s conduction time duration in milliseconds. This study allows us to get an objective report about the patient’s therapy, and to understand whether that therapy has been useful in stopping the disease from progressing ”, Doctor Walter Troni explains.
Developments made possible by medications
“Using modern immunomodulators and immunosuppressants, we have changed the progression of the disease, that until a few years ago, we thought that it was the cause of the total loss of motor function in legs. We have increased life expectancy and preserved functional autonomy. Such methods are important, because they make the monitoring of the disease possible and reliable for each patient”, Doctor Antonio Bertolotto points out.
Chris Wright, a Fiat Auxilium Basket Torino playmaker, is the first NBA player with multiple sclerosis and he is an active witness to these developments.
“Each one of us has their own battle to fight. Mine is multiple sclerosis, and I don’t plan on losing it. I have played in Turkey, France, Israel and now Italy. I don’t forget my disease, but I think about it as little as possible. I regularly take the necessary medications and tests twice a month. In this way, I can play among professionals regularly and effectively”.
The study by Fornaca Clinic and the Neurology Department of San Luigi Hospital, is now successfully applied to many patients with multiple sclerosis.