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More MS news articles for June 2004

Influence of temperature changes on clinical symptoms in multiple sclerosis, an epidemiologic study

Ann Readapt Med Phys. 2004 Jun;47(5):204-208
Petrilli S, Durufle A, Nicolas B, Robineau S, Kerdoncuff V, Le Tallec H, Lassalle A, Gallien P.
Service de medecine physique et readaptation, CHU de Pontchaillou, 2, rue Henri-Le-Guilloux, 35033 Rennes cedex 09, France.


The effects of the modifications of temperature are well known in patients affected by multiple sclerosis (MS).

They are variable and can influence daily living.

This sensibility can be used in the management of the disabilities.


An epidemiological study was realized on a cohort of 191 patients suffering from MS referred to the MS clinic of Rennes (France).

All the patients were questioned about the influence of heat and cold on their clinical symptoms (fatigue spasticity, walking disorders, vision, em leader ).

Correlations with the main clinical characteristics were studied.


One hundred ninety-one patients, 129 women and 62 men with an average age of 47.6 +/- 10 years were interviewed.

Average score EDSS was of 5.2 +/- 1.5.

The mean duration of MS was 13.5 +/- 10 years.


One hundred forty-seven patients (77%) reported a sensibility to the temperature.

Heat deteriorated function in 104 cases and 82 patients improved with cold.

Paradoxically 20 patients reported to be deteriorated with cold and 19 improved with heat.

Fatigue and walking were the most sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

No particular clinical profile could be established.

Fifty percent of the patients used this sensibility with therapeutic aim in everyday life.


The clear influence of temperature fluctuations on the clinical symptom was confirmed in this study.

However, there is a great variability from one patient to another.

Different hypotheses have been evoked to explain this phenomenon.

The most likely is an influence on the nervous specific conductivity.

In routine practice cold physiotherapy will be proposed on case by case basis and still has an interesting place in the rehabilitation management.