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STUDY: Brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis could be ameliorated by aerobic exercise

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  • STUDY: Brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis could be ameliorated by aerobic exercise

    Get out there and crank it as best you can, folks. Your brain and health depend on it. - D

    Brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis could be ameliorated by aerobic exercise

    ECTRIMS Online Library. Savsek L. Oct 25, 2017; 199869Abstract: EP1849
    Type: ePoster
    Abstract Category: Therapy - symptomatic - 35 Enhancing CNS plasticity

    Objective: Although most disease modifying drugs exert high antiinflammatory effect on multiple sclerosis (MS), their neuroprotective effect is still rather unclear and is subject to many clinical studies. However, even less is known about additional neuroprotective and regenerative strategies in MS. Previous studies on elderly populations and Alzheimer´s disease patients suggest a beneficial effect of exercise on neurodegeneration. The aim of present study is to test the effect of aerobic exercise as a strategy to ameliorate functional disability and brain atrophy progression on patients with MS.

    Subjects and methods: A group of 25 age- and sex-matched patients with MS, treated with fingolimod for ≥6 months, no relapses within 3 months prior to start of study and EDSS < = 6,5, were randomized into intervention group (IG; n=12) and control group (CG; n=13). Intervention consisted of 12 weeks of supervised aerobic exercise twice a week (60 minutes´ duration).
    Baseline 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was performed at start of study and follow-up at study end. Volumetric analysis of brain structures was performed on baseline MRI and corresponding regional atrophy changes were calculated between baseline and followup MRI scans using automated brain segmentation and deformation analysis techniques (MS Markers;
    Additionally, we measured walking speed with 10-Meter Walk Test, resting state brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), interleukin-6 (IL6) and interleukin-2 (IL2) serum levels.

    Results: Exercise improved EDSS score and walking speed in IG, while in CG a slight worsening of both measures was detected, but none of these changes were significant. Statistically significant increase in volume of parahippocampal (p=0,001) and precentral gyrus (p=0,048), thalamus (p=0,039) and frontal lobe (p=0,026) was found in IG compared to CG. After 12 weeks, resting state BDNF levels were significantly higher in the IG (p=0,004) compared to baseline, while in CG only a mild, but not significant, increase was observed (p=0,8). Levels of IL6 and IL2 remained stable in both groups.

    Conclusion: Our study supports findings from previous studies that certain brain structures remain pliable throughout lifetime and can be modified through simple techniques, like aerobic exercise. Results suggest that regional brain atrophy, reflecting the neurodegenerative process, could be ameliorated by promoting aerobic exercise among patients with MS.

    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    When am I going to stop hating physical activity??
    I KNOW what I need to do, I just can't seem to get my ass moving.
    girl1dir =)