Text Size: a  |   a 

Walking on the Treadmill Can Improve Cognition in MS Patients

June 7, 2016

BHI has mentioned how important it is to get even the slightest amount of exercise when living with multiple sclerosis many times in the past. The benefits are endless; it has been concluded that even walking on the treadmill can not only increase your cardiorespiratory fitness, but your cognitive processing speed as well.

While it is understandable that not everyone with MS is able to walk on a treadmill, those that are capable should consider doing so. The study “Systematically Developed Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial of Exercise and Cognition in Persons with Multiple Sclerosis,” concluded this when they presented at the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) 2016 Annual Meeting on June 4th.

CPS (cognitive processing speed) is the rate that someone can absorb new information, make sense of it, then form a response; this includes visual or auditory information. CPS in MS patients is commonly slower and often difficult to manage.

In a clinical trial at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign a small clinical trial was conducted, starting with ten females with relapsing and remitting MS. The women were randomized into either treadmill exercises or control conditions. Research was conducted and collected before, throughout and after a three month period by blinded assessors.

It was found that the control group had no changes in their cardiorespiratory fitness and a CPS reduction of three points (CPS was measured through the Symbol Digit Modalities Test). The patients who engaged in treadmill exercises on the other hand increased their CPS by three points and a 14 percent improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness.