Effects of Cooling and Resistance Training in Multiple Sclerosis.

TitleEffects of Cooling and Resistance Training in Multiple Sclerosis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsAlquist AD, Queen M, Kraft GH
JournalJournal of Spinal Cord Medicine

Background: heat sensitivity, fatigue, weakness, and lessened coordination, which lead to increased disability and decreased motor function, are primary symptoms among persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). We have learned through recent pilot investigations that both acute body cooling and progressive resistance exercise (PRE) training can independently improve motor function and lessen reported disability among patients with heat-sensitive MS. We hypothesize that body cooling immediately before PRE training will increase the capacity to perform coordinated PRE training movements and provide a greater chronic exercise stimulus to gain strength, coordination, and endurance and lessen fatigue and depression than cooling or PRE dosed separately. Method: To test the preceding hypotheses, a double-blind, treatment-controlled, randomized block design was used. The subjects were randomly assigned to cool at eiher 7.2º C (active cooling: AC) or 26.7º C (sham cooling: SC) and exercise at either high-does PRE (HPRE) or low-dose PRE (LPRE [subtraining threshold]). Thirty-two subjects with MS will be assigned into 1 of 4 groups. Eight subjects have completed the training. Subject trained 3 sessions each week for 12 consecutive weeks. Primary outcome measures were assessed before and after the 12-week training. The outcome measures consisted of strength, systemic endurance, self-selected ambulation velocity, and depression scale (CES-D). Conclusion: The subjects that were actively cooled before high-dose progressive resistance training made the greatest gains in endurance, strength, ambulation, and depression. The preliminary data support the hypothesis that cooling before exercise has greater benefit than exercise or cooling alone.

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