Multiple sclerosis and effect of physical activity.Abstract.
MS is a chronic, inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervesystem. The ethiology is unknown, but most likely MS is caused by a combination of genetic predisposal and exposition to one or more enviromental factors such as infections, eating habits and other unknown factors. The pathology shows inflammation with destruction of myelin and axones.
I wanted to find out the effects of physical excersise and physiotherapy on MS. Earlier MS patients were advised to avoid excersise, because it was believed to have adverse effects. I searched for litterature in PubMed, using the words “Multiple sclerosis AND effect AND (physiotherapy OR exercise OR physical activity)” I only included randomized controlled trials.
The results showed that many types of excersise can have a positive influence on different aspects of the MS disease. Quality of life, fatigue, walking ability and mobility responded to training. The general function and the ability to manage life on their own was also significant improved. It was hard to prove an improvement in disability. No proof was found that training could improve the patients cognitive abilities. Any effects on endocrine, immunologic or neurotrophic factors were not found.
The results show that MS patients should be advised to do physical exercise. This will improve the patients working ability and quality of life. What kind of training is inferior. The patients should participate in the type of exercise suitable for their preferanses and level of function.