Yoga may combat MS fatigue
Tuesday, 8th April 2003
Yoga and other exercises may help combat tiredness among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a US study. However, the researchers point out that while yoga and aerobic exercise may tackle fatigue among MS patients, they do not appear to improve cognitive function.
In a six-month study involving almost 70 people, the researchers found a 'significant improvement' among patients who took part in a weekly lyengar yoga class that was specifically adopted for MS sufferers.
The progress of participants taking the yoga class was compared to two other groups. Patients in the second group undertook a specially adapted MS exercise-bike class with home exercises. The third group maintained its 'normal state of activity' for six months and was then offered an opportunity to enrol in one of the other groups.
Using standard cognitive tests and questionnaires relating to mood, sleepiness, fatigue, and quality of life, the study authors reached the conclusion that there was an improvement among those undertaking yoga or exercise.
'While neither yoga nor aerobic exercise appeared to impact cognitive function, there was significant improvement in fatigue for the two intervention groups when compared to the third group,' says Dr Barry Oken, professor of neurology at the OHSU school of medicine.
The authors say they are conducting a similar trial, looking at the mental and physical impacts of yoga on 'relatively healthy ageing individuals'.
'We soon hope to have the results of that study to determine if activity interventions have a similar impact,' says Dr Oken.
REF: American Academy of Neurology
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