Although no cure has been found capable of preventing the invalidating course brought about by Spinocerebellar Ataxia type SCA2, the most common in the province of Holguín and in Cuba, research conducted by the Center for Research and Rehabilitation of Hereditary Ataxias (CIRAH) has demonstrated the impact of rehabilitation on the progression of this condition.
In this sense Julio César Rodríguez Díaz, physical rehabilitator of the holguinero center, explains that it is a privilege that the patients of ataxias today have a treatment protocol thanks to the characteristics of our health system.
Thus, there is a multi-disciplinary treatment for the care of patients (physical rehabilitators, defectologists, psychologists, speech therapists and physiotherapists).
After eight clinical trials carried out at CIRAH, it has been demonstrated that rehabilitation improves the patient's state, "we do not cure, but we prevent, we improve their quality of life and aspects related to walking, balance, cognitive functions, painful contractures and other symptoms. This treatment protocol is supported by eight clinical trials that have shown very positive results. The impact of rehabilitation is also reflected in the sustainability of those who come to the clinic, in relation to those who do not throughout the country," said Rodriguez Diaz.
In CIRAH, rehabilitation has been extended beyond the patients, since Julio César himself in his doctoral study proposes the implementation of a specific rehabilitation program consisting of functional tests for descendants at risk who have the gene and are in a presymptomatic stage, that is, those who have not yet debuted with the disease. With this practice, in the opinion of the rehabilitator, what was expressed by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz in 2002 related to the need to prevent ataxia before becoming ill is fulfilled.
To date, the most important treatment discovered to treat this condition, which is characterized by the degeneration of the cells that control the balance and coordination of movements, is rehabilitation. Therefore, it is an achievement of the center to have a protocol of comprehensive care for patients, especially in this eastern Cuban region where the highest prevalence of ataxia is evident in the country, with about 600 patients. /Radio Angulo