Atlanta, GA,
09:30 AM

Research Aims to Improve Quality of Life for People with Multiple Sclerosis

Podcast with MS research director addresses benefits of staying active and how research is revealing insight into best wellness practices.

Shepherd Center is engaged in a variety of research aimed at improving clinical outcomes and the quality of life for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS), an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body..

At the hospital’s Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Research Program at Shepherd Center, researchers study the effects of rehabilitation and exercise interventions for people with MS, and studies also address vocation and quality of life. Researchers also make a concerted effort to share their findings to people with MS, as well as MS healthcare providers, caregivers and healthcare payers in hopes of optimizing function and quality of life for all people living with MS.

Shepherd Center’s MS research program is unique in that it is truly an integration of clinical and research endeavors. This integrated team, led by Deborah Backus, PT, Ph.D., FACRM, is comprised of physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, exercise physiologists, physicians and research collaborators from various related fields and institutions, who endeavor to answer meaningful questions that can be translated into clinical practice.

Dr. Backus discussed some of the program's research – particularly studies aimed at gaining insight into best wellness practices for people with MS – in a recent Shepherd Center Radio podcast available for download at the link above or at

Dr. Backus, director of multiple sclerosis research at The Eula C. and Andrew C. Carlos Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Rehabilitation and Wellness Program at Shepherd Center. She is president-elect of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (ACRM). Dr. Backus has 30 years of experience as a rehabilitation clinician, educator and researcher. As part of the MS Rehabilitation and Wellness Program at Shepherd Center, Dr. Backus coordinates research efforts to study the health and wellness needs of people at varying stages of MS.

About Shepherd Center

Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.