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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2001 December;41(4):421-32

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Exercise and multiple sclerosis: physiological, psychological, and quality of life issues

Sutherland G., Andersen M. B.

From the School of Human Movement, Recreation and Performance * Centre for Rehabilitation, Exercise and Sport Science Victoria University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia


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The ­case for the ben­e­fits of phy­si­cal ac­tiv­ity has ­been ­well doc­u­ment­ed in ­healthy indi­vid­u­als, and the poten­tial for reducing the ­risk of men­tal and phys­i­cal ill ­health is sub­stan­tial. Yet, indi­vid­u­als ­with multi­ple scler­o­sis (MS) ­have ­long ­been ­advised to ­avoid par­tic­i­pa­tion in exer­cise in ­order to min­i­mise the ­risk of exac­er­ba­tions and symp­toms of ­fatigue. There is, how­ev­er, increas­ing inter­est in how ­acute and chron­ic exer­cise ­affect phys­io­log­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal func­tion­ing in MS. Much of the ­research has exam­ined phys­io­log­i­cal tol­er­ance to exer­cise and ­focused on respons­es in ­terms of ­heart ­rate, ­blood pres­sure, car­di­o­res­pir­a­to­ry fit­ness, mus­cle func­tion, and symp­tom stabil­ity. Little ­research has ­focused on under­stand­ing how exer­cise ­affects psy­cho­so­cial func­tion­ing and ­brings ­about chang­es in depres­sion, ­affect, ­mood, ­well-­being, and qual­ity of ­life. This ­paper pro­vides a sum­mary of the ­research explor­ing the effi­ca­cy of phys­i­cal activ­ity for peo­ple ­with MS. In addi­tion, the key ­issues ­that ­face clin­i­cal prac­tice are exam­ined, and con­sid­er­a­tions for ­research are dis­cussed.

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