Theodora started to work with our Exercise Physiologist, Felix, in March of 2020. She was diagnosed with Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) in March of 2019 but had started to experience symptoms in January of 2017. PLS is a rare form of Motor Neurone Disease, accounting for approximately 2% of all MND diagnoses. PLS affects the upper motor neurons, which, in Theodora’s case, causes movement to be slow and effortful. The lower motor neurons are not affected and so with this type of MND you do not see the same extent of muscle wasting that is often associated with MND.
Theodora was working as a lawyer, having won many accolades and awards for her services in her field. Since her diagnosis, she has not been able to work as her mobility and speech has significantly deteriorated. She relies on her husband for assistance with daily tasks.
After being aware of the importance of being physically active and the positive affect this has on her wellbeing, Theodora attends the hospital day program for hydrotherapy and the gym. She is still continuing this and finds it very beneficial. She sees Felix, ARC Exercise Physiologist, one day a week to compliment this and completes a targeted program including a stretching program and low impact activity, all the time making sure she is not over-fatiguing her muscles.
Due to Theodora’s type of MND, she has actually shown an improvement over the last year in clinical muscle strength as assessed by her specialist. As her condition affects her upper motor neurons, she is able to work a little harder during exercise sessions without the adverse effects and muscle overloading.
Felix has been blown away by Theodora’s diligence, drive, devotion and care to her physical health, which, in turn is having a very positive effect on her mental health and feeling of wellness.
Well done and keep up the good work Theodora! We are so proud of you!