Pilot Efficacy Trial of Electrical Stimulation Cycling Exercise for Advanced Multiple Sclerosis

Summary

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable disease of the central nervous system that typically affects people in their 30's and 40's. MS results in slowly increasing muscle paralysis, reduced quality of life and an early death. Exercise improves aerobic fitness and strength in patients with mild to moderate MS and may improve mobility, fatigue and health related quality of life. However, people with severe MS have very limited walking ability, very low activity levels, and cannot voluntarily exercise their muscles enough to gain benefit. We have developed an electrical stimulation (ES) cycling based exercise method which is suitable for persons with severe MS. This project is for a clinical trial where participants with severe MS will exercise on a specially designed recumbent "exercycle" that uses electrical stimulation to involuntarily activate muscle contractions to drive the pedals. The proposed project will evaluate the efficacy of electrical stimulation cycling exercise for person with advanced MS.

Supervisor(s)

Dr Che Fornusek

Research Location

Exercise, Health and Performance Research Group

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

The primary aim of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of ES-cycling for persons with advanced multiple sclerosis (MS). Evaluation will be performed via a training study ES-cycling will be compared to current practice rehabilitation regarding potential improvements in muscle mass, leg strength, mobility, and quality of life. Exercise may improve mobility, fatigue and health related quality of life in persons with MS but those with advanced MS paresis cannot activate enough muscle mass to gain the usual benefits of exercise. This may put them at risk of cardiovascular disease and secondary deconditioning. Additionally, activity might slow the MS disease process by improving regulation of the immune system or enhancing neuroplasticity/cortical adaptive reorganisation. The ES-cycling will be performed on a special ES-cycle constructed by Dr Fornusek to maximise exercise intensity for persons with paralysis/paresis. This study is funded by Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia.

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Keywords

multiple sclerosis, Electrical Stimulation, exercise, Disability

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1933

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