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Old 10-21-2011, 02:43 PM
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Default STUDY: Specific resistance training yields big gains in strength of MSers

I'm surprised only 12 weeks made such a big difference. I wonder what they used for resistance. Exercise equipment, free weights, therabands? And yeah, abs are tough. - Dave

From ECTRIMS 2011: Specific resistance training for patients with multiple sclerosis

L. Bernhardt, M. Marziniak (Münster, DE)

Introduction: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease which may result in motor weakness, spasticity, loss of sensitivity, poor balance, depression or fatigue. A positive effect of physical activities and the impact on disease progression, and frequency of relapses exist, but little is known about the effect of the different functional domains. Resistance training is a method to strengthen individually muscle groups and to recruit additional cortical resources as an attempt to modulate the cognitive decline in MS.

Objective: Does resistance training improve gait impairment, muscle strength and spasticity for patients with MS?

Methods: A randomized placebo controlled observational multi-center pilot trial with a 12-weeks study period was performed. SUBJECTS: 54 patients with multiple sclerosis and an EDSS from 0-6.5 were randomly allocated to one of the two groups. INTERVENTION: Group 1 (n=28) received 12 weeks of standardized resistance training using different sequence-training equipment once a week. Half of the patients were randomized in Group 2 as control group (n=26) without any further physical activities. MAIN Outcome Parameters: To measure maximum muscle strength, equilibrium, coordination and gait impairment, patients were assessed at baseline and 12 weeks post treatment with a standardized clinical and technical examination.

Results: At baseline, 83% of the patients had pathological differences in the muscle strength of more than 10% between each side. 38 % had differences in two of the three muscle groups (arm, leg and core muscles), 12% in all groups. After 12-weeks intervention 76% of the patients reduced the differences in the maximum strength between the right and left side. Overall the resistance training improved the muscle strength of 50.7% in total. Highest improvements could be measured in leg strength, lowest improvements were found in the abdominal muscles.

Conclusions: Standardized resistance training is an important tool to improve maximum muscle strength. It could reduce differences in side comparison of muscle strength.
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