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Effect of arm cycling on fatigue and upper limb performance in MS

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  • Effect of arm cycling on fatigue and upper limb performance in MS

    Effect of arm cycling and task-oriented exercises on fatigue and upper limb performance in multiple sclerosis: a randomized crossover study.

    Gervasoni E, Cattaneo D, et al
    [12 Sep 2019]


    Rehabilitation treatments have been proven to be a viable way to reduce fatigue and upper limb impairments in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). Our aim was to examine which treatment has better short-term and carryover effects on fatigue and manual dexterity in multiple sclerosis population.

    Twenty PwMS participated in a 16-week randomized crossover study composed of 20 sessions. The participants were divided into two groups (group A and group B). Sessions containing combined arm cycling and task-oriented exercises were administered by a physical therapist in hospital setting. Each group received 20 sessions of aerobic training and task-oriented exercises and then an 8-week rest period or vice versa with group A receiving sessions first. Fatigue was assessed by using the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS) and Motor Fatigability Index (MFI), which was assessed using an engineered glove during a fatiguing finger tapping task. To measure manual dexterity, the nine hole peg test (NHPT) and a rate of tapping at maximum velocity task (RATE-MV) were utilized. Treatment effects were assessed by t-test or Mann-Whitney test at the end of both periods checking for carryover effects.

    After treatment the combined (Groups A and B) between-period differences were MFIS: 5.2 (10.7) points, P = 0.05; MFI: -0.007 (<0.001)Hz/s, P = 0.05 and RATE-MV: 0.2 (0.4) Hz/s, P = 0.05 in favor of the treatment period. No statistically significant between-period differences were found for the NHPT: 3.6 (25.0) s, P = 0.63. No carryover effects (P > 0.05) were observed.

    In conclusion, sessions of arm cycling and tailored task-oriented exercises have shown to be a viable resource for treating manual dexterity and fatigue in PwMS.
    Dave Bexfield