Cognitive rehabilitation is designed to enhance a person’s capacity to process and interpret information and improve his/her ability to function in all aspects of family and community life.
Given the clear and consistent documentation of cognitive deficits in persons with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), there is an obvious need for effective cognitive rehabilitation, particularly in the progressive forms of MS.
While the focus on designing and testing cognitive rehabilitation programmes for persons with MS is relatively recent, the growth in research addressing this need over the past decade has been substantial. Cognitive Rehabilitation studies in MS have focused on various aspects of cognition including attention, working memory, communication skills, and memory functioning.
One promising rehabilitation intervention that may improve cognition (as well as functional physical capacity) is exercise. Exercise training is defined as a subset of physical activity that is planned, structured, and repetitive and has, as a final or an intermediate objective, the improvement or maintenance of physical fitness. For years patients with MS were advised not to participate in physical exercise because it was thought to lead to fatigue or symptom exacerbation in general. Research over the past few decades has changed this view and physical exercise in MS has instead been shown to have a number of beneficial effects.