Exercise on Multiple Sclerosis Patients

2019-10-18 11:21:38 | BioPortfolio


Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are characterized by thermoregulatory failure, known as Uthoff's phenomenon. Precisely, 60‑80% of the MS patients present adverse clinical symptoms when their body temperature is increased. Thus, the development of treatment strategies to overcome the thermoregulatory problem in these patients is crucial. Given that cooling has been proposed as an effective method, the aim of this study was to examine whether the application of head cooling therapy during an exercise training session is capable to prevent the core temperature increase and to improve the patient's functional ability and quality of life.


Multiple Sclerosis (MS) mostly affects young individuals aged between 20 to 40 years and is the leading cause of morbidity and disability in young. Most of the MS patients experience motor symptoms such as ataxia, tremor, dizziness, limb weakness and vertigo that induce gait difficulty. More precisely, it has been reported that in around 85% of patients diagnosed with MS the gait difficulties are the main problem, which increases the risk for falls. Except for the motor difficulties, MS patients experience multiple physical, cognitive and neurological symptoms that reduce their quality of life. Also, fatigue is another frequent symptom, which is considered among the most disabling symptoms. MS patients 10 years after the onset of the disease become unable to perform housekeeping and employment responsibilities, and as a consequence, the patients experience high depression rates while the suicide incidence is high, varying from 28.6% to 2.5% in these patients. Over the past 15 years a variety of studies have proved that exercise training in patients with chronic diseases, improve their functional capacity and quality of life, and accordingly are capable of performing their daily living activities independently, while it can reduce depression and delay the progression of the disease's symptoms. Nevertheless, MS patients for many years were advised not to participate in exercise training programs because there was a perception that exercise could worsen the disease symptoms due to increased body temperature. Indeed 60-80% of the MS patients present adverse clinical symptoms when their body temperature is increased not only due to physical working but even when immersing in hot water or by exposure to infrared lamps or the sun. Since MS has a severe economic impact as it affects mostly young adults in their most productive years and leads to loss of work capacity and exercise training has the potential to prevent or ameliorate this loss, the need to develop new treatment strategies that could overcome the thermoregulatory problem during exercise is crucial. Therefore, it has been proposed that active precooling is considered an effective treatment for reducing the consequences of induced-heat stress due to exercise. Therefore, this study will examine whether a session of pre-cooling could improve the functional ability of patients with MS.

Study Design


Multiple Sclerosis


Exercise with cooling, Exercise without cooling


FAME Lab, Department of Exercise Science, University of Thessaly




University of Thessaly

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-10-18T11:21:38-0400

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