Experimental protocol of a randomized controlled clinical trial investigating exercise, subclinical atherosclerosis, and walking mobility in persons with multiple sclerosis

Academic Article


  • © 2015 Elsevier Inc. This randomized controlled trial (RCT) will investigate the effects of a home-based aerobic exercise training regimen (i.e., cycle ergometry) on subclinical atherosclerosis and walking mobility in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and minimal disability. Methods/design: This RCT will recruit 54 men and women who have an Expanded Disability Status Scale characteristic of the 1st stage of MS (i.e., 0-4.0) to participate in a 3. month exercise or stretching intervention, with assessments of subclinical atherosclerosis and walking mobility conducted at baseline, week 6 (midpoint), and week 12 (conclusion) of the program. The exercise intervention will consist of 3. days/week of cycling, with a gradual increase of duration followed by an increase in intensity across the 3. month period. The attention-control condition will incorporate stretching activities and will require the same contact time commitment as the exercise condition. Both study groups will participate in weekly video chat sessions with study personnel in order to monitor and track program adherence. Primary outcomes will consist of assessments of vascular structure and function, as well as several walking tasks. Additional outcomes will include questionnaires, cardiorespiratory fitness assessment, and a 1-week free-living physical activity assessment. Discussion: This investigation will increase understanding of the role of aerobic exercise as part of a treatment plan for managing subclinical atherosclerosis and improving walking mobility persons in the 1st stage of MS. Overall, this study design has the potential to lead to effective aerobic exercise intervention strategies for this population and improve program adherence.
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    Author List

  • Griffith G; Klaren RE; Motl RW; Baynard T; Fernhall B
  • Start Page

  • 280
  • End Page

  • 286
  • Volume

  • 41