Research News Flash
A randomized-controlled pilot study examined the feasibility and effectiveness of exercise training for persons with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) experiencing moderate disability. Forty-seven participants were randomized into one of four groups: arm ergometry, bicycle ergometry, rowing, or wait-list control. The exercise groups engaged in approximately 20 training sessions over the course of eight to 10 weeks, participating in two to three sessions per week. The primary outcome of interest was aerobic fitness as measured by peak oxygen consumption. Additional assessments included measures of walking ability, cognitive function, depressive symptoms, and fatigue. Forty-two participants completed the trial and the drop out rate did not differ between groups, indicating the feasibility of such an exercise intervention. Results showed significant increases in aerobic fitness and walking distance. Several domains of cognitive function also showed significant improvement, as did depressive symptoms and fatigue. The results of this pilot study demonstrated several benefits of exercise for persons with progressive MS warranting further investigation.
Briken, S., Gold, S. M., Patra, S., Vettorazzi, E., Harbs, D., Tallner, A., Ketels, G., Schulz, K. H., & Heesen, C. (2014). Effects of exercise on fitness and cognition in progressive MS: a randomized, controlled pilot trial. Multiple Sclerosis Journal, 20(3), 382-390.