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Old 05-20-2014, 02:49 PM
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Default STUDY: Short-Term Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Symptoms in MS and CFS

A Pilot Study Investigating the Short-Term Effect of Aerobic Exercise on Symptoms in Multiple Sclerosis and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Yvonne C. Learmonth , PhD; Lorna Paul , PhD; Angus K. McFadyen , PhD; Rebecca Marshall-McKenna , PhD; Paul Mattison , MD; Linda Miller , MPhil; Niall G. McFarlane , PhD

From the College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (YCL, LP, RMM, NGM); Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA (YCL); AKM-STATS, Statistical Consultants, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (AKM); Multiple Sclerosis Service, NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Scotland, UK (PM, LM); and School of Health and Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, Scotland, UK (LM).


Objective: This pilot study aimed to establish if a 15-minute bout of moderate-intensity aerobic cycling exercise would affect symptoms (pain and fatigue) and function (Timed 25-Foot Walk test [T25FW] and Timed Up and Go test [TUG]) in those with multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and to compare these results with a healthy control group.

Methods: Eight people with MS (Expanded Disability Status Scale score 56; Karnofsky score 5080), eight people with CFS (Karnofsky score 5080), and eight healthy volunteers took part. Pain and fatigue levels, T25FW, and TUG were established at baseline, 30 minutes, 2 hours, and 24 hours following a 15-minute static cycle aerobic exercise test. Repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) and covariance (ANCOVA) were used to analyze the findings over time.

Results: At baseline there were significant differences between groups in fatigue (P = .039), T25FW (P = .010), and TUG (P = .010). A significant interaction between groups over time emerged for fatigue levels (P = .005), with particular improvements seen in the CFS group. Despite analysis revealing a significant improvement in pain levels and function over time in all groups, no differences between groups emerged.

Conclusions: Undertaking 15 minutes of moderate aerobic cycling had no significant adverse effects on pain, fatigue, and function in people with MS and CFS (with a Karnofsky score of 5080) within a 24-hour time period. These pilot results suggest that people with MS or CFS may undertake 15 minutes of cycling as moderate aerobic exercise, and doing so may not negatively impact fatigue or function.



Published Online: April 9, 2014
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