Resistance training may slow MS progression

August 01, 2017
A new study shows resistance training may protect the nervous system and slow the progression of multiple sclerosis. The researchers, however, stress the aim is not to replace medication with physical training.
In the study, researchers from Aarhus University, Aarhus University Hospital, the University of Southern Denmark and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf followed 35 people with MS for six months. Half of the group engaged in resistance training twice a week, while the other half continued to live their lives normally without systematic training.
Prior to and following the six-month period, the test subjects had their brains scanned, and the researchers found there was a tendency for the brain to shrink less in those patients who undertook resistance training. The researchers behind the study are still unable to explain why training has a positive effect on the brain in people with MS.
It is not yet clear whether all people with MS can benefit from this type of exercise, as it has not been sufficiently tested in the more severely affected patients. Therefore, the researchers are not recommending that all MS patients throw themselves into intensive physical training regimes without first seeking professional advice.
The findings were published in Multiple Sclerosis Journal.

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