Effects of rehabilitation treatment of the upper limb in Multiple Sclerosis patients and predictive value of neurophysiological measures

Massimiliano Mirabella, Luca Padua, Viviana Nociti, Maria Letizia Prosperini, Marcella Caggiula, Pietro Caliandro, Luca Prosperini, Monica Ulivelli, Simona Bartalini, David Cioncoloni

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

3 Citazioni (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Dysfunctions of the upper limbs occur in the 66% of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. To date, no data, about the persistence of the effects of a rehabilitation treatment and no prognostic markers of functional improvement, have been established. AIM: To define clinical data supporting the efficacy of a rehabilitation treatment in MS patients with upper limb impairment and to find prognostic factors for functional improvement. DESIGN: Pre-post comparison prospective study. SETTING: Two tertiary Italian MS centres: Rome and Siena. POPULATION: Twenty-five consecutive MS patients were tested for eligibility. METHODS: We multidimensionally evaluated 25 consecutive patients with MS-related upper limbs impairment through clinical objective, patient-oriented and neurophysiological measures pre and post a16-week rehabilitation treatment on upper limb sensorimotor function. RESULTS: We found a significant improvement in the Nine hole peg test (9-HPT) at either sides, both at an immediate post-training visit (T1) (left: p=0.018, right: p=0.004) and at a 12-week post- intervention assessment visit (T2) (left: p=0.033, right: p=0.022). We also found a positive correlation between the 12-week post-training changes in the 9HPT and the N14-P20 interpeak of the somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs), (rho=0.374, p=0.008). CONCLUSIONS: Our study demonstrates that a rehabilitation treatment can lead to an improvement of the upper limb motor performance in MS patients which continues to persist even after 3 months of treatment-discontinuation suggesting a possible role of rehabilitation in neuroplasticity changes. Moreover, we found, in the latency of the N14-P20 interpeak, a possible prognostic marker for the effects of a upper limb rehabilitation treatment in MS patients.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)819-826
Numero di pagine8
RivistaEuropean Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2016


  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Rehabilitation
  • Somato-sensory Evoked Potentials
  • Upper limbs

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