Tuesday, February 3, 2015

What does the research say?

My personal, anecdotal evidence should not be enough to convince you of much of anything.  It's time to look at some of the body of evidence from published work to see if exercise and movement is indeed tied to better outcomes in mobility, strength, and fatigue.

My first thought is that there does not appear to be an overwhelming body of evidence.  I had hoped for much more:  deeper, wider and broader in scope of investigation and outcomes. However, the results I did find were positive, and today I will share with you a summary of some recent work on exercise and MS.

Overview of outcomes:  reduced fatigue, increased mobility, reduced pain, enhanced quality of life, better balance, increased bladder control, reduced sitting time, better memory.

Some details follow if you are interested.  At least now, you are not just taking my word and experiences as truth.

  • Strength Training and Fitness.  A new study has found that people with multiple sclerosis may reduce perceived fatigue and increase mobility through a series of combined strength training and fitness exercises. A first phase of general fitness was followed by a personalized intervention program based on each patient’s maximum force. The scientists assessed the effects of training and found that the experiment group gained "a fair amount" of functionality while the control group remained stable.The study also includes an analysis of motivational aspects and an interview on the perception of the effects of sport. This part is especially interesting as it shows an improvement of the participants’ quality of life, although the University will continue working with the MS patients to see the long term effects.  Source: Science 2.0 © 2014 ION Publications LLC (01/10/14)

  • Yoga.  Specialized program improved quality of life, decreased pain and fatigue.  A specially-designed yoga program for these MS patients not only improved their physical and mental well-being but also enhanced their overall quality of lifeWhat they discovered at the end of the eight-week trial was that those who participated were better able to walk for short distances and longer periods of time, had better balance while reaching backwards, fine motor coordination, and were better able to go from sitting to standing. Their quality of life also improved in perceived mental health, concentration, bladder control, walking, and vision, with a decrease in pain and fatigue.Source: Rutgers Copyright 2014, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (02/09/14)

  • Taking steps.  In the overall group and after adjusting for baseline differences, the mean daily sitting time in the intervention group at follow-up was 7.2 hours (SE 3.3), compared with 8.8 (SE 3.3, P<0.05) for the wait-listed controls.  For the peer-protocol group, mean daily sitting time at follow-up was 6.8 hours (SE 3.5) with the intervention versus 8.9 (SE 3.5, P<0.05) for controls, Klaren reported.Primary source: Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis
Source reference: Motl R, et al, "Does the effect of a physical activity behavior intervention vary by clinical characteristics of people with multiple sclerosis?" CMSC-ACTRIMS 2014; Abstract RH05.

Additional source: Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers and the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis
Source reference:Klaren R, et al "Efficacy of a behavioral intervention for reducing sedentary behavior in people with multiple sclerosis" CMSC-ACTRIMS 2014; Abstract RH04.

Source: MedPage Today © 2014 MedPage Today, LLC (04/06/14)

  • Moderately Intense Activity.  Study finds short bouts of moderately intense activity can have big impact on tiredness levels of people with MS.Multiple sclerosis sufferers can reduce the fatigue that accompanies their condition by undertaking short bursts of moderately intense exercise, such as walking or cycling, according to new research.Source: The Guardian © 2014 Guardian News and Media Limited (15/01/14)

  • Yoga.  Objectives: Yoga has been found to be effective for addressing problems with strength, flexibility, balance, gait, anxiety, depression, and concentration. Varying degrees of these problems occur in individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). This study examined the effects of a comprehensive, 4-month yoga program on strength, mobility, balance, respiratory function, and quality of life for individuals with MS.   Methods: Twenty four individuals with MS participated in an intensive Ananda Yoga training followed by 17 weeks of home practice.   Results: Significant improvements in functional strength, balance, and peak expiratory flow and a trend toward improvements in mental health and quality of life outcomes were detected following the intervention. Conclusions: The results of this exploratory study suggest that yoga can have a positive impact on physical functioning and quality of life for persons with mild to moderate MS.

Salgado BC, Jones M, Ilgun S, McCord G, Loper-Powers M, van Houten P.Department of Physical Therapy, California State University, Sacramento, CA.
Sources: Int J Yoga Therap. 2013;23(2):27-38 & Pubmed PMID: 24165521 (08/11/13)

  • Aerobic exercise can boost memory in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) by up to 54 per cent, a new study has found.Aerobic exercise resulted in a 16.5 per cent increase in hippocampal volume, a 53.7 per cent increase in memory, and increased hippocampal resting-state functional connectivity.  Non-aerobic exercise resulted in minimal change in hippocampal volume and no changes in memory or functional connectivity.
Source: Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation. The India Express Copyright © 2013 The Indian Express ltd (04/11/13)

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