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Old 03-18-2013, 01:04 PM
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Exclamation STUDY: Aerobic Exercise Increases Hippocampal Volume and Improves Memory in MSers

Aerobic Exercise Increases Hippocampal Volume and Improves Memory in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis: Pilot Findings from a Randomized Controlled Trial
Victoria Leavitt, West Orange, NJ, Amanda Cohen, West Orange, Amanda Farag, West Orange, Christopher Cirnigliaro, West Orange, NJ, Nancy Chiaravalloti, West Orange, NJ, James F. Sumowski, West Orange, John DeLuca, West Orange

OBJECTIVE: Aerobic exercise improves memory and promotes hippocampal neurogenesis in non-human animals. Its efficacy has not been verified in a memory-impaired neurologic sample. Here, a randomized controlled trial of aerobic versus non-aerobic exercise was piloted in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients with memory impairment.

BACKGROUND: MS leads to prominent hippocampal atrophy: as much as 10% reduction of hippocampal volume is seen in persons with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS), even after only five years. Hippocampal atrophy is linked to memory deficits; indeed, more than 50% of MS patients suffer memory impairment, with negative consequences for quality of life. There are currently no effective memory treatments for MS, either pharmacological or behavioral.

DESIGN/METHODS: Pilot data were collected from two ambulatory, memory-impaired MS participants randomized to non-aerobic (stretching) and aerobic (stationery cycling) conditions. Baseline and follow-up measurements: high-resolution MRI (neuroanatomical volumes), fMRI (functional connectivity), and memory assessment. Intervention was 30 minute sessions 3 times per week for 3 months. R

RESULTS: Aerobic exercise resulted in a 16.5% increase in hippocampal volume and a 53.7% increase in memory, as well as a large increase in hippocampal resting-state functional connectivity. In contrast, non-aerobic exercise resulted in relatively no change in hippocampal volume (2.8%) or memory (0.0%), and no changes in hippocampal resting-state functional connectivity. Effects of aerobic exercise were specific to the hippocampus and memory, as there were no comparable changes in overall cerebral gray matter (2.4%) or in non-hippocampal deep gray matter structures (thalamus, caudate: -4.0%), nor were there any changes in non-memory cognitive functioning (mean change: 0.0%).

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first evidence for aerobic exercise to increase hippocampal volume, hippocampal connectivity, and improve memory in MS. Aerobic exercise represents a cost-effective, widely available, natural, and self-administered treatment with no adverse side effects that may be the first effective memory treatment for MS patients.
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  #2  
Old 03-18-2013, 02:50 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Default Very Cool

Interesting that they cite that much change in only 3 months. Imagine the difference that might be observed in PWMS with good lifestyle exercise habits?
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:26 PM
LivWell LivWell is offline
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Here's another article about how beneficial exercise is for cognitive as well as physical health.

http://blog.nationalmssociety.org/20...ur-bodies.html
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Old 03-23-2013, 11:04 AM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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Default Long-Term Aerobic Endurance Exercise in MS Patients with and without Fatigue

Livewell, this is the abstract from one of the studies mentioned in your link, good stuff! It is the first longer-term endurance exercise study I’ve seen and it points out a significant decrease on fatigue severity scale (FSS) scores but only after nine months of endurance exercise.

Long-Term Aerobic Endurance Exercise in MS Patients with and without Fatigue
Stephan Schmidt, Bonn, Germany, Marc Wonneberger, Cologne, Germany

OBJECTIVE: Little is known about the impact of baseline fatigue on exercise effects and their persistence in patients with multiple sclerosis.

BACKGROUND: Physical activity has emerged as an important symptomatic treatment option for patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and has finally superseded the traditional concept that physical exercise might trigger relapses and worsen the natural course of disease. However, previous studies included MS patients with various degrees of disability and fatigue, and in most cases the exercise protocols were only applied for a maximum of three months. Therefore, it has not been firmly established if the reported beneficial effects of physical exercise in MS patients are persistent or transient, and to what extent baseline fatigue levels may influence the observed effects.

DESIGN/METHODS: We present the results of a prospective, comparative, observer-blinded, single-center trial including 60 ambulatory patients with relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis, and an EDSS score of ≤ 3.5. Patients were assigned to either a fatigue group (FG) or a non-fatigue group (nFG) according to their baseline fatigue severity scale (FSS) scores. The cut-off value for the assignment to the fatigue group was a FSS score of > 4. Both groups performed an individualized endurance exercise over a 12 month period with follow-up examinations at three months intervals using a modified Naughton treadmill protocol.

RESULTS: Peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak) increased significantly in both groups (FG: p=0.03, nFG: p<0.02) after six months. This exercise effect remained significant after 12 months in the FG (p <0.001), but was not maintained in the nFG (p=0.66). In the FG, a significant decrease of the FSS score was only observed after nine months (p < 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS: Since baseline motor fatigue may affect treatment effects, future exercise interventions in MS patients should take into account the particular needs of patients with fatigue and adjust the exercise protocols accordingly.

Last edited by AMFADVENTURES; 03-23-2013 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:36 PM
LivWell LivWell is offline
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I was surprised that I was able to create an account and access the abstracts. Much of the information is way above my head, but it's cool to see what the experts are talking about. I'll be asking my neurologist if she went and for a full report on what she's learned!
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Old 03-24-2013, 01:30 PM
AMFADVENTURES AMFADVENTURES is offline
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For anyone who is following this thread but hasn't tracked down the link to the 2013 AAN Meeting Abstracts, here it is: http://www.abstracts2view.com/aan/

I didn't have any problem signing in as a guest.

Only some of it applies to MS and Livewell is right, some of that is pretty dense, but if you can wade through it, there are a lot of tidbits of good information.
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