MSAA: Publications - The Motivator: Winter/Spring 2010 - Program Notes
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Home > MSAA Publications > The Motivator > The Motivator: Winter/Spring 2010 > Program Notes
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Program Notes

Live Webcasts on Mobility and MS

Register for Live Mobility Webcast and Watch Earlier Webcasts On-Demand

Adding to our two dozen on-demand educational videos, MSAA has also produced a four-part live video webcast series titled Staying One Step Ahead. Made possible through the generous support of Acorda Therapeutics and Eli Lilly and Company, these interactive webcasts present important and timely information on the issue of mobility and multiple sclerosis.

The final installment of our series, Program Four - Energy Conservation and MS - for Home, Work and Travel will broadcast live, Thursday, May 13, 2010, from 8 pm to 9 pm ET. (For readers who do not attend the live webcast, the recorded webcast will continue to be available online.) This program will feature certified MS specialist and noted occupational therapist Jennifer Tamar Kalina, Director of Rehabilitation at the Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Care Center, at the New York University's Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City. You may register at

As mentioned, this webcast series features four programs on key aspects of mobility and MS. At the time of this article, Programs One through Three were recorded and archived as on-demand videos.

In Program One, Communicating Issues of Mobility to Your Healthcare Team, Care Partner and Family, occupational therapist Dr. Kathleen Zackowski covers a wide range of information and provides practical advice and solutions to help MS clients improve their mobility. A key component in this process is to obtain an evaluation by an occupational therapist (OT). In the program, when asked to explain the process of an OT evaluation, she states: "Occupational therapy is to better understand what your activities of daily living are and how to achieve them. So part of it needs to be a conversation between you and your therapist as to what's important. ...Some occupational therapists focus on orthopedic issues, some are involved in work adjustments, and some will help make your home safer."

Dr. Zackowski continues her response by stating: "The kind of things you can expect from an OT assessment is first an interview so you get to know that person and he or she can get to know your needs, and then use some standardized tests. There are MS tests which measure cognition, fine motor skills, walking, hand function, and fatigue. The idea is to get a global view of what you are like. Our job is to write goals that you can reach in a reasonable amount of time. Goals are critical because your insurance company won't cover therapy if you're not making progress."

In Program Two, Exercise and Multiple Sclerosis, post rehabilitation specialist Brad Hamler discusses and demonstrates a variety of safe and effective exercises for MS. During the webcast, Hamler raises many key points and addresses common myths about exercising, including the famous notion of 'no pain, no gain.' In explaining how exercise is important for MS patients, he notes:

"Having people work to the point of exhaustion is not a good idea - for anybody. And obviously people with MS cannot work that way, but you don't have to and you don't need to. First thing you want to look at when strength training is you're going to increase your ability to maintain your balance. We talk about balance and flexibility of muscles. Strong muscles are supple and able to support their structure. ...As muscles are able to contract you may find that they're working more efficiently, which can help with spasticity."

These two brief excerpts from Programs One and Two represent just a small portion of useful, practical information on mobility and multiple sclerosis. Program Three is on Walking and MS, and is now available. To view these and other MSi programs in their entirety, please visit Happy viewing!

Cranial MRIs Available through MSAA's MRI Institute

As the number of people with inadequate health insurance or no insurance continues to grow, MSAA has expanded its ability to serve more people through its MRI Institute. This program works to secure vital MRI scans of the brain so doctors and their patients can monitor the ever-changing course of their MS.

With the generous support of EMD Serono, Inc. and Pfizer Inc, MSAA's MRI Institute will be able to serve an additional 300 new clients in 2010. If you and your doctor are having difficulty securing a cranial MRI because of finances or lack of adequate insurance coverage, and have not received assistance through MSAA for an MRI in the past two years, please call the MRI Institute at (800) 532-7667, extension 120 or email


Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 January 2013 10:05