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Old 10-21-2017, 03:11 PM
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Default STUDY: Association between exercise capacity and cognitive functions in MSers

Association between exercise capacity and cognitive functions in persons with multiple sclerosis

ECTRIMS Online Library. Kahraman T. Oct 27, 2017; 200555

Abstract: P900
Type: Poster
Abstract Category: Clinical aspects of MS - 7 MS symptoms

It is well known that regular exercise improves cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and pulmonary systems, thus improves exercise capacity. Growing evidence has suggested that its beneficial effects for cognitive functions; however, less is known about associations between exercise capacity and cognitive functions in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS, pwMS). Therefore, the aim was to investigate the association between exercise capacity and cognitive functions in pwMS.

This cross-sectional study enrolled 152 pwMS. Exercise capacity was measured with the six-minute walk test (6MWT) which is a widely used submaximal test and a good predictor of exercise capacity in pwMS. Cognitive functions were assessed with the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS battery including tests of mental processing speed and memory. These tests are the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT2), and the Brief Visuospatial Memory Test-Revised (BVMT-R). The study sample was divided into two exercise capacity subgroups (low and high) according to their 6MWT scores by use of a median split.

There were 76 participants in each subgroups. The mean of 6MWT was 346.3 86.9 m and 491.1 46.4 m in the low- and high-exercise capacity subgroups, respectively. There were significant positive moderate correlations between the 6MWT and SDMT (rho=0.404, p< 0.001), CVLT2 (rs=0.327, p< 0.001), and BVMT-R (rs=0.327, p< 0.001) in all the participants. The mean scores of SDMT, CVLT2, and BVMT-R were significantly less in the participants with low-exercise capacity subgroup (p< 0.01). The Cohen's effects sizes (ES) showed that the difference in the SDMT and BVMT-R were very large (ES=3.11 and 4.78, respectively) and the ES for CVLT2 was moderate (ES=0.62).

This study suggests that the cognitive functions are associated with exercise capacity. PwMS with higher exercise capacity have better cognitive functions. However, more studies are needed to establish a causal relationship between exercise capacity and cognitive functions.

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