Combined exercise training improves cognitive functions in multiple sclerosis patients with cognitive impairment: A single-blinded randomized controlled trial

ÖZKUL Ç., Guclu-Gunduz A., ELDEMİR K., Apaydin Y., YAZICI G., Irkec C.

Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, vol.45, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.msard.2020.102419
  • Title of Journal : Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders
  • Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, Exercise, Cognitive function, Mood, Quality of life, QUALITY-OF-LIFE, PHYSICAL-EXERCISE, AEROBIC EXERCISE, HIPPOCAMPAL, MEMORY, STATEMENT, FATIGUE, FITNESS, WALKING, IMPACT


© 2020 Elsevier B.V.Background: Cognitive impairment is common in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). The effects of different exercise trainings on cognitive functions in patients with MS are promising. However, the effects are not yet clear in MS patients with cognitive impairment. This study aimed to investigate the effect of combined exercise training on different cognitive functions in MS patients with cognitive impairment. Methods: Relapsing-remitting and mild disabled MS patients with cognitive impairment were randomly assigned to two groups: Exercise Group (EG, n:17) and the Control Group (CG, n:17). The EG received a combined exercise training consisting of aerobic and Pilates training in three sessions per week for 8 weeks while the CG performed the relaxation exercises at home. Cognitive functions, walking capacity, fatigue, mood, and quality of life were assessed at baseline and after eight weeks using the Brief Repeatable Battery of Neuropsychological Tests (BRB-N), Six-Minute Walk Test (6-MWT), Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS), Beck's Depression Inventory (BDI) and MS Quality of Life-54 (MSQoL-54), respectively. Results: This study showed significant group-by-time interactions on long-term verbal memory, walking capacity, cognitive fatigue, and physical quality of life in favor of the EG (p<0.003). Moreover, verbal memory, visuospatial memory, verbal fluency, information processing speed, walking capacity, fatigue, and quality of life improved in the EG (p<0.05) while only verbal memory increased in the CG (p<0.05). Furthermore, the change in visuospatial memory was associated with the change in mental quality of life (r:0.352, p: 0.041) while the change in verbal fluency (r: -0.362, p:0.035) and processing speed (r: -0.356, p:0.039) were associated with the change in mood. Conclusion: Combined exercise training has beneficial effects on different cognitive functions in mild disabled RRMS patients with cognitive impairment. In addition, there is a mutual relationship in improvements in cognitive functions, mood, and quality of life after exercise.