Romney's MS Scare Highlights Variable, Unpredictable Disease


Romney has said she keeps her MS under control with traditional medicine, but also uses a combination of alternative therapies, such as reflexology and yoga, to keep her symptoms in check. Romney is also an avid horseback rider, which is actually also a treatment for MS.

"It's known that horseback riding is particularly good for MS patients," said Dr. Adam Kaplin, an assistant professor of psychiatry and neurology at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute in Baltimore. "It helps people coordinate their balance and train their muscles."

Generally, experts say any exercise is helpful for managing symptoms of MS.

Although a stressful, tiring lifestyle can take its toll, many patients are able to keep their symptoms in check by staying tuned to their body's signals. They said there's no reason to think Romney's MS will keep her from fulfilling her responsibilities to her husband's campaign or her potential role as First Lady.

"There are scores of people with MS in highly active and stressful positions. They do just fine," Lublin said.

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