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Old 09-09-2019, 11:49 AM
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Default STUDY: Exercise improves fatigue in persons with Multiple Sclerosis


Exercise improves fatigue in persons with Multiple Sclerosis

B. Giesser1, E. Herlihy1, A. Smith1, T. Jung2, D. Thrasher3, D. Markovic4, S. Gold5 1Neurology, UCLA, Los Angeles, 2CSUN, Northridge, 3Neuropsychology, 4Biomathematics, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, United States, 5Psychiatry, Charite Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Background: Fatigue is one of the most common symptom of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Reports of non-pharmacologic methods to treat fatigue vary in efficacy.

Methods: 36 persons with relapsing remitting or secondary progressive MS were randomized to one of two physical exercise regimens. The effect of exercise on fatigue was included as a secondary outcome measure. Subjects were screened to ensure normal thyroid functions. The active (A) group( n=16) performed aerobic exercise on a recumbent cycle, up to 60-80% of maximal heart rate(HR). The stretching (S)group ( n=20) performed stretching exercises for head and neck, upper extremities and lower extremities, with HR monitored so it remained under 60% of maximal HR. Each group performed either aerobic exercise or stretching protocols under the supervision of a fitness specialist for 20-30 minutes per session for 3 sessions/week for 6 months, total 60 sessions. Fatigue was assessed by the Modified Fatigue Impact Score ( MFIS). Assessments were done at baseline, 3 months, 6 months, and 3 months post completion of protocol.

Results: Baseline MFIS scores were not significantly different between the two groups. (means: A=48.1, S= 44.6). The mean average improvement in MFIS score across the 3 time points for the A group was -5.6 points +/- 2.5 ( p=0.03). The mean average improvement in MFIS score for the S group across all time points was -4.0=/-2.2 points ( p=0.07). The difference between the two groups was not significant (p=0.627)

Conclusions: Both aerobic and stretching exercise protocols improve fatigue in persons with MS.
Dave Bexfield
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