Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2018) 17, 426 - 436

Research article
Feasibility and Effects of Structured Physical Exercise Interventions in Adults with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis: A Pilot Study
Elisabet Guillamó1, Álvaro Cobo-Calvo2,3, Guillermo R. Oviedo4,5, , Noémie Travier6, Juan Álamo1, Oscar A. Niño-Mendez7, Antonio Martínez-Yelamos2, Sergio Martínez-Yelamos2, Casimiro Javierre1
Author Information
1 Department of Physiological Sciences, School of Medicine, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
2 Department of Neurology, Bellvitge University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain
3 Service de Neurologie, Hôpital Neurologique Pierre Wertheimer Hospices Civils de Lyon, Lyon, France
4 Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sport Science Blanquerna, University Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain
5 Blanquerna School of Health Science, University Ramon Llull, Barcelona, Spain
6 Breast Cancer Screening Unit. Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Catalan Institute of Oncology, Spain
7 Faculty of Sport Science and Physical Education, University of Cundinamarca, Colombia

Guillermo R. Oviedo
✉ Faculty of Psychology, Education and Sport Science Blanquerna, University Ramon Llull, 34 Císter Street, 08022 Barcelona, Spain
Publish Date
Received: 12-04-2018
Accepted: 20-06-2018
Published (online): 14-08-2018
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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disease which affects young adults at a time of maximum personal, professional and social growth. Recent guidelines on physical activity have established that exercise is an essential component of the clinical management of people with MS with mild or moderate degree of disability. The main purpose of this study was to test the feasibility and the effects of two different 40-week structured physical exercise interventions (a supervised high intensity interval training plus home exercise program and a self-applied home-based exercise program) on clinical evolution, psychological wellbeing, quality of life, fatigue, cardiorespiratory fitness, strength and balance of people with MS. Twenty-nine participants with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) participated in this study. All of them were fully ambulatory and with minimal disability (Expanded Disability Status Scale <3), for at least the last six months. Participants selected to be part of a combined face-to-face plus home exercise group (CFTFG; n = 8); a self-applied home-based exercise group (HG; n = 11) or a control group (CG; n = 10). A total of 23 participants completed the protocol (79.3%), of which 8 participants (100%) from the CFTFG, 7 (63.6%) from the HG and 8 (80%) from the CG. During the first 20-weeks of training, adherence from the CFTFG reached 77.5% and from the HG reached 50 %. During the second 20-weeks of training, adherence from the CFTFG reached 62.5% and from the HG reached 45.4%. After 20-weeks of training, a significant improvement in the absolute VO2 peak and in the 30-second sit to stand test was observed in the CFTFG (all p < .05). This study confirms that offering a 40-week structured exercise programme to a group of fully ambulatory and minimally disabled persons with RRMS is feasible and safe. Any adverse event related to the trial was reported by the participants.

Key words: Multiple sclerosis, disability, exercise, quality of life, physical fitness

           Key Points
  • Structured exercise programs are well tolerated by patients with relapsing-remitting Multiple Sclerosis and no adverse events were related with the programs.
  • Supervised interventions are able to retain more participants and facilitate high intensity exercise which is well tolerated if applied progressively and adapted to each individual.
  • Physical exercise interventions should be designed to enhance the positive aspects of working in small groups, but also to improve the commitment of participants to perform unsupervised exercise sessions in order to maximize the benefits.
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