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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2018 Oct;24(12):1635-1644.
doi: 10.1177/1352458517728342. Epub 2017 Aug 21.

High-intensity Interval Exercise Improves Cognitive Performance and Reduces Matrix metalloproteinases-2 Serum Levels in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

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Randomized Controlled Trial

High-intensity Interval Exercise Improves Cognitive Performance and Reduces Matrix metalloproteinases-2 Serum Levels in Persons With Multiple Sclerosis: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Philipp Zimmer et al. Mult Scler. .

Abstract

Background: Aerobic exercise can improve cognitive performance in healthy elderly people.

Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of a 3-week high-intensity aerobic exercise programme (high-intensity training group (HIT)) on cognitive performance in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) compared with a standard exercise programme (control training (CT)).

Methods: A total of 60 persons with MS (Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS): 1.0-6.5) were randomized to a HIT group (3×/week for 20 minutes, including five 3-minute exercise intervals at 80% of peak oxygen uptake (VO2-peak)) or a CT group (continuously 5×/week for 30 minutes/session at 65% of VO2-peak). Cognitive performance was assessed using the Brief International Cognitive Assessment for MS at entry ( t0) and discharge ( t1). Furthermore, VO2-peak, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, serotonin and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-2 and -9 were measured.

Results: Compared to CT, HIT significantly improved verbal memory. Significant improvements over time in executive functions were found in both groups. Secondary outcomes indicated significant improvements in VO2-peak and a significant reduction in MMP-2 in the HIT group only.

Conclusion: HIT represents a promising strategy to improve verbal memory and physical fitness in persons with MS. Further research is needed to determine the impact of exercise on biomarkers in MS.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02571335.

Keywords: Exercise; cognition; multiple sclerosis.

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