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Old 02-12-2019, 12:45 PM
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Dave @ ActiveMSers
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Default STUDY: Poor cardio fitness connected to MS fatigue

Prolonged cortical silent period is related to poor fitness and fatigue, but not tumor necrosis factor, in Multiple Sclerosis

Arthur R. Chaves, Liam P. Kelly, et al.


•MS patients have extremely low levels of fitness regardless of levels of disability.

•Poor cardiorespiratory fitness in MS associated with increased GABAergic intracortical inhibition.

•Increased GABAergic intracortical inhibition may explain exacerbated feelings of MS fatigue.


Poor fitness among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) aggravates disease symptoms. Whether low fitness levels accompany brain functioning changes is unknown.

MS patients (n=82) completed a graded maximal exercise test, blood was drawn, and transcranial magnetic stimulation determined resting and active motor thresholds, motor evoked potential latency, and cortical silent period (CSP).

Sixty-two percent of participants had fitness levels ranked below 10th percentile. Fitness was not associated with disability measured using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS). Regression analyses revealed that, cardiorespiratory fitness, when controlling for disease demographics, contributed 23.7% (p < 0.001) to the model explaining variance in CSP. Regression analysis using cardiorespiratory fitness and CSP as predictors showed that CSP alone explained 19.9% of variance in subjective fatigue (p = 0.002). Tumor necrosis factor was not associated with any variable.

Low fitness was associated with longer CSP in MS. Longer CSP was, in turn, related to greater MS fatigue.

MS patients had extremely low levels of cardiorespiratory fitness. Poor fitness predicted longer CSP, a marker of greater intracortical inhibition, which was linked to MS fatigue. Future research should examine whether aerobic training could shorten CSP and potentially lessen inhibition of cortical networks.

Multiple Sclerosis cardio respiratory fitness fatigue tumor necrosis factor transcranial magnetic stimulation corticospinal excitability cortical silent period

Dave Bexfield
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