Impaired manual dexterity affects around three in four people with MS, and is associated with loss of work and the need for care.
Only limited research has been carried out on ways to improve manual dexterity in people with MS. However, a team from the University of Bern in Switzerland recently developed a training programme to improve manual dexterity.
The researchers worked with 39 patients with impaired manual dexterity affected by clinically isolated syndrome or MS. They allocated them at random to one of two training programmes – the dexterity training programme, and a training programme using a thereband (a type of resistance band). In both cases, the patients trained for five days a week over four weeks.
The dexterity training programme led to significant improvements in manual dexterity. This suggests that such a training programme might help improve activities of daily living and quality of life in moderately disabled MS patients.