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STUDY: Two types of exercise in MS benefit sleep, depression; fatigue not so much

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  • STUDY: Two types of exercise in MS benefit sleep, depression; fatigue not so much

    This mirrors some other studies I've read. Lower intensity "endurance" training does not appear to influence fatigue in MS. HIIT does. -D

    Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
    Available online 29 July 2019

    Compared to an active control condition, in persons with multiple sclerosis two different types of exercise training improved sleep and depression, but not fatigue, paresthesia, and intolerance of uncertainty

    Dena Sadeghi, et al

    •In individuals with MS, sleep complaints and symptoms of depression decreased over time in exercising groups, compared to controls

    •Exercising had no impact on fatigue, paresthesia, and intolerance of uncertainty

    •This is the first study in the field to introduce an active control condition


    In persons with multiple sclerosis (MS), physical activity favorably impacts on psychological well-being. The aims of the present study were to investigate the influence of physical activity on depression, fatigue, sleep, paresthesia, and personality traits (intolerance of uncertainty), and to explore, if endurance training or coordinative training are superior to an active control condition.

    92 female individuals with MS (mean age: 37.36 years; mean EDSS: 2.43) took part in this intervention study. Participants were randomly assigned either to endurance training, coordinative training, or to an active control condition. At baseline, 4 weeks, and 8 weeks later at the end of the study, participants completed questionnaires on sleep, depression, fatigue, paresthesia and intolerance of uncertainty. Exercise training interventions took place three times/week for 45min/session. Participants in the active control condition also met with the same duration and frequency.

    Sleep complaints and symptoms of depression decreased over time, but more so in the exercising groups, compared to the active control group. No changes over time and between groups were observed for fatigue, paresthesia, and intolerance of uncertainty.

    Both endurance and coordinative exercising had the potential to favorably impact on some aspects of cognitive-emotional processing, while also an active control condition appeared to have a positive impact.
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    "Intolerance of Uncertainty"

    I never heard the phrase "intolerance of uncertainty" before but I like it. I like it be cause it articulates a symptom of MS that is often overlooked or even dismissed. Being a bit of a word Smith nerd, I also like the connotation that while the uncertainty may static, the tolerance or emotional response may be modulated. I know from my own experience that my tolerance for MS's unpredictability fluctuates and that my emotional wellbeing is improved when my tolerance of uncertainty is heightened.
    How the scientists measured MS'ers tolerance level is an interesting question to me. While exercise was reported to not help uncertainty I tolerance, I wonder if the patients in the study felt more control over their own bodies and health, and perhaps this perception of more control over MS would negate some of the emotional toll of MS's unpredictability. Thus, reducing one's intolerance to uncertainty, a bit?