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Benefits of Exercise Training in Multiple Sclerosis

Abstract

Exercise training represents a behavioral approach for safely managing many of the functional, symptomatic, and quality of life consequences of multiple sclerosis (MS). This topical review paper summarizes evidence from literature reviews and meta-analyses, supplemented by recent individual studies, indicating that exercise training can yield small but important improvements in walking, balance, cognition, fatigue, depression, and quality of life in MS. The paper highlights limitations of research on exercise training and its consequences and future research directions and provides an overview for promotion of exercise training in MS based on recent prescriptive guidelines. Collectively, the evidence for the benefits of exercise training in MS suggests that the time is ripe for the promotion of exercise by healthcare providers, particularly neurologists as a central part of the clinical care and management of MS patients.

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Conflict of Interest

Robert W. Motl reports personal fees from EMD Serono, grants from Acorda Therapeutics, and grants from Biogen IDEC.

Brian M. Sandroff declares no potential conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Robert W. Motl.

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This article is part of the Topical Collection on Demyelinating Disorders

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Motl, R.W., Sandroff, B.M. Benefits of Exercise Training in Multiple Sclerosis. Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep 15, 62 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11910-015-0585-6

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Keywords

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Exercise
  • Function
  • Symptoms
  • Quality of life