Summary: A pilot study found that distance training in aerobic walking exercises can improve decreased cognitive processing speed in fully ambulatory people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Participants in the intervention condition showed strong improvements in their cognitive processing speed scores after 16 weeks, while the stretch condition did not demonstrate similar improvements.
The results are promising for people with MS who suffer from impaired cognitive processing speed and provide a more inclusive solution for distance exercise programs.
- A pilot study has shown that distance training in aerobic walking exercises may be a promising method to improve impaired cognitive processing speed in fully ambulatory people with multiple sclerosis (MS).
- The study involved 25 people with fully ambulatory MS who were prescreened for cognitive processing speed deficits, 19 of whom completed the study as prescribed.
- Participants who were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of distance-delivered and supported aerobic walking exercise training demonstrated strong improvements in their cognitive processing speed, as measured by the Numbers and Symbols Modality Test. (SDMT), compared to participants who were assigned to the remote training control condition. delivered and supported stretching and range of motion activities.
Source: Kesler Foundation
Results of a pilot study funded by the Kessler Foundation have shown that distance aerobic walking exercise training is a feasible and highly promising method for improving impaired cognitive processing speed in fully ambulatory individuals. suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).
The results of this single-blind randomized controlled trial support the design of a randomized controlled trial in a large sample of people with MS.
The research team followed a group of 25 people with fully ambulatory MS who were prescreened for deficits in cognitive processing speed; 19 completed the study as prescribed.
Researchers used the Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT), a widely used neuropsychological test to assess information processing speed in people with MS, and the California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT-II) as a widely used test verbal learning and memory. Assessments were conducted at baseline and after 16 weeks.
Participants were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of aerobic walking exercise delivered and supported remotely (intervention condition), or stretching and range of motion activities delivered and supported remotely (control condition). ).
Participants received wearable fitness trackers and weekly video consultations with an exercise specialist to ensure proper technique, safety, and adherence to the prescribed exercise program.
The results of the study were promising. Participants who were randomly assigned to the intervention condition demonstrated strong improvements in their SDMT scores after the 16-week study period compared to participants who were randomly assigned to the stretch condition. which indicates that distance training of aerobic walking exercise had a positive impact on their cognitive processing speed.
Additionally, the study showed that participants had high adherence rates to the exercise program, with an average of 80% of prescribed sessions completed.
These findings are particularly significant because impaired cognitive processing speed is a common symptom of MS, affecting up to 70% of patients. Impairment is associated with reduced quality of life, increased unemployment, and decreased social functioning. With limited effective treatments available, this study holds promise for people with this debilitating symptom.
The remote delivery and support of the aerobic walking exercise program also has major implications for the accessibility and convenience of care for people with MS. Many patients face barriers to participating in in-person exercise programs, such as transportation issues or financial constraints.
This study demonstrates that exercise programs delivered remotely can be just as effective as traditional in-person interventions, providing a more inclusive solution for people with MS.
The researchers are optimistic about the potential applications of their findings.
“Our study shows that distance aerobic gait training is not only feasible, but may also be effective in treating cognitive processing speed disorders in people with MS,” said lead author Dr. Dr. Sandroff, Principal Investigator at the Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research.
“We anticipate that these findings will encourage the development of more accessible, practical, and large-scale exercise interventions, ultimately leading to a better quality of life for those affected by this challenging disease.”
About this exercise and news on multiple sclerosis research
Author: Caroline Murphy
Source: Kesler Foundation
Contact: Carolann Murphy – Kessler Foundation
Picture: Image is credited to Neuroscience News
Original research: Free access.
“Feasibility of distance-delivered and supported aerobic walking exercise training for impaired cognitive processing speed in fully ambulatory individuals with multiple sclerosis” by Brian M. Sandroff et al. Multiple sclerosis and related disorders
Feasibility of distance-delivered and sustained aerobic walking exercise training for impaired cognitive processing speed in fully ambulatory people with multiple sclerosis
The current pilot single-blind randomized controlled trial (RCT) examined the feasibility of remotely delivered and assisted aerobic walking exercise training versus an active control condition on cognitive processing speed (CPS) in 19 fully ambulatory people with multiple sclerosis (pwMS) who were prescreened for impaired CPS.
Feasibility was assessed in the areas of process (e.g. recruitment), resources (e.g. monetary costs), management (e.g. timelines) and scientific outcomes (e.g. effect of the treatment). Fully ambulatory, but with PCS impairment, SPSPs were randomly assigned to 16 weeks of home aerobic walking exercise or home stretching and range of motion activities. Both conditions involved the delivery of newsletters and one-on-one online video chats with a behavioral coach. Participants in both conditions tracked their activity using highly accurate wearable motion sensors. Raters blinded to treatment administered the Remote Symbols and Numbers Modality Test (SDMT) before and after the 16-week study period.
The study was cost effective, accessible and acceptable. Furthermore, the operation was safe. Adherence and compliance rates for both conditions exceeded 80%. There was an overall moderate effect for change in SDMT score between conditions (d = 0.42). The intervention was associated with a 4.8-point improvement in SDMT scores (d = 0.70; 10% increase) compared to a 1 point improvement for the control condition (d = 0.09; 2% increase).
This remotely delivered and supported aerobic gait exercise training intervention was safe and feasible for fully ambulatory and CPS-impaired pwMS. The pattern of results, including promising effects on CPS, supports the design and implementation of an appropriately powered RCT of this approach for the management of CPS impairment in a large sample of MS.