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Exercise helps fatigue, quality of life, in multiple sclerosis says study

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  • Exercise helps fatigue, quality of life, in multiple sclerosis says study

    Below is an abstract from a recently released pilot study done to see how exercise affects fatigue and quality of life in us MSers. The exercise group had "significantly greater improvements" across the board. And there were lasting improvements. This is the kind of reinforcement I like to see! How motivating for us to keep active....

    Long-term benefits of exercising on quality of life and fatigue in multiple sclerosis patients with mild disability: a pilot study
    Ruth McCullagh
    Discipline of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, St James' Site,

    Anthony P Fitzgerald

    Department of Epidemiology & Public Health and Department of Statistics, Faculty of Medicine, University College Cork

    Raymond P Murphy

    Department of Neurology, AMNCH, Tallaght, Dublin

    Grace Cooke

    Mater Hospital, Eccles Street, Dublin, Ireland

    Objective: To determine if exercise benefits patients with multiple sclerosis.

    Design: Randomized controlled trial.

    Settings: Participants exercised at home and also attended exercise classes held in a hospital physiotherapy gym.

    Subjects: Thirty patients, diagnosed and independently mobile, were recruited in the Dublin area.

    Intervention: For three months, classes were held twice-weekly and participants exercised independently once-weekly. The control group was monitored monthly and management remained unchanged.

    Measurements: Measurements were taken at baseline, three and six months. The Modified Fatigue Impact Scale (MFIS), Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale-29 (MSIS-29) and Functional Assessment of Multiple Sclerosis (FAMS) were used to measure fatigue and quality of life (QOL). Heart rate (HR) and the Borg's Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) were recorded during an incremental exercise test. The change from baseline scores between groups was compared using the Mann—Whitney U-test.

    Results: Twenty-four participants completed the programme (n = 12 in each group). Based on the change in scores at three months, the exercise group had significantly greater improvements in exercise capacity (HR: —14 [-18.5, -2.5] versus 0.5 [-4, 5.5], P= 0.009), QOL (FAMS: 23 [9.5, 42.5] versus -3.5 [-16, 5], P=0.006) and fatigue (MFIS: -13 [-20, -3] versus 1 [-4, 4.5], P=0.02). At six months, the difference in change scores remained significant for FAMS (19 [14, 31] versus -4.5 [-25, 8], P=0.002) and MFIS (-8.5 [-19.5, -1] versus 0.5 [-2.5, 6.5], P=0.02) only.

    Conclusions: A three-month exercise programme improved participants' exercise capacity, QOL and fatigue, with the improvements in QOL and fatigue lasting beyond the programme.
    Dave Bexfield

  • #2
    This is a great motivation to keep going to the gym, even when I don't feel like it. I certainly notice the positive difference after exercise.


    • #3

      I love it! And, my doc is taking me off my spasticity meds! WOO HOO!! I'm soooo getting back in the pool and on the bike even more!!


      • #4
        Exercise has made a huge difference for me, but it takes a while to see the improvement. About 18 months ago I launched a weight loss and fitness plan for myself. I started walking, going to the gym and slowly increasing my activity. At first, I had to take a nap every day, but that was often true without the exercise. Now, unless I have a very strenuous exercise day, I nap much less often and feel much better. Of course, losing 30# probably didn't hurt. Unfortunate side effect- much more problems with the Copaxone injection sites without the layer of fat.
        Overall, I feel so much better and rarely think about the fatigue that used to rule my life. I quit the Provigil because it made made me a witch and I no longer need it.


        • #5
          What is scary to me is that I am having fatigue issues especially the day after I run. I am training for a marathon, so surely the high mileage wouldn't be a factor LOL!

          Seriously, one of the few times I feel *normal* is when I exercise.

          Has anyone else noticed being really fatigued the day after their hard exercise?