Just read in the MS Society's magazine Momentum about four upcoming studies that focus on exercise. The results of all of these should be quite interesting! - Dave

Barbara Giesser, MD, and her colleagues (University of California, Los Angeles) are comparing the effects on cognitive performance of an aerobic exercise program lasting six months to the effects of non-aerobic stretching exercises in people with MS. In addition to standard tests measuring cognitive function, Dr. Giesser’s group is measuring levels in the blood of a number of substances – including immune messengers and cell growth factors – that may influence the health of nerves in the brain to determine how exercise may be improving cognition.

Robert Motl, PhD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is conducting a study aimed at understanding factors that may lead to reduced physical activity in persons with MS. His team is examining whether the frequency and severity of MS-related symptoms influence physical activity, tracking changes in activity over three years in 250 individuals with relapsing-remitting MS. This study could substantially improve our knowledge of the factors leading to reduced physical activity in people with MS, and help design programs to increase it.

In another study he is testing an exercise regimen that incorporates balanced amounts of aerobic, resistance, and balance modes of training, to help manage mobility problems.

Finally, a new grant to Jacob J. Sosnoff, also from U of I at UC, is funding a clinical trial investigating the effects of different durations and intensities of leg cycling exercises on MS spasticity.