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STUDY: Cooling vests help MSers walk farther, longer

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  • STUDY: Cooling vests help MSers walk farther, longer

    Effects of a cooling vest with sham condition on walking capacity in heat-sensitive people with Multiple Sclerosis
    European Journal of Applied Physiology (2020)


    Heat sensitivity is a common contraindication in people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS), and physical fatigue is one of the most frequently reported symptoms that can affect quality of life. Increases in body temperature may exacerbate fatigue and heat-related symptoms. Decreasing body temperature via cooling devices may mitigate disease symptoms and improve physical abilities and quality of life. This study evaluates the effects of a cooling vest with sham condition on walking capacity using a commercially-available cooling vest specifically designed for pwMS.

    A counter-balanced, cross-over design was used to assess the effects of a cooling vest (CryoVest Comfort, CryoInnov, France) (COLD) from a menthol-induced sham condition (CON) on ground walking time to exhaustion (Tex, s) and distance at exhaustion (Dex, m) in ambulatory pwMS. Secondary outcomes were heart rate (HR, bpm), thermal sensation (Tsens), skin chest (Tchest) and back (Tback) temperature.

    Ten females with Multiple Sclerosis (59  9 years, EDSS 3.0–5.5) participated to the study. During COLD, pwMS walked significantly longer (1896  602 vs. 1399  404 s, p < 0.001) and farther (1879  539 vs. 1302  318 m, p < 0.001) than CON. Importantly, Tsens and HR at exhaustion were not significantly different between conditions, although Tchest (− 2.7  1.8 C, p < 0.01) and Tback (− 3.9  1.8 C, p < 0.001) were lower at volitional fatigue during COLD.

    The lightweight cooling vest improved total walking time and distance in heat-sensitive pwMS. These physiological improvements were likely due to feeling perceptually cooler in the COLD trial, compared to the corresponding point of fatigue in the CON condition.
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    Check out the article in MS News Today. The difference is pretty dramatic!

    Those with the active and “cold” vests walked significantly farther and longer than those given sham vests under the same ambient temperature conditions. Patients with “cold” cooling packs walked 46% farther — about 1,879 meters versus 1,302 meters for the sham group before reaching exhaustion. They also walked for longer periods of time — approximately 31.6 minutes vs. 23.3 minutes, a roughly 36% time difference.

    Dave Bexfield