Mult Scler. 2004 Apr;10(2):212-8
Romberg A, Virtanen A, Aunola S, Karppi SL, Karanko H, Ruutiainen J.
Masku Neurological Rehabilitation Centre, 21251 Masku, Finland
The purpose of the present study was to examine exercise capacity and its relationship to neurological disability as measured using the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) and to leisure physical activity in subjects with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Thirty-four men and 61 women (mean age 44 +/- 6.7 years, mean disease duration 5.7 +/- 6.4 years) with mild to moderate disability (EDSS range 1.0-5.5) participated.
They underwent an incremental exercise test on a leg cycling ergometer.
Leisure physical activity was measured using a questionnaire.
Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) in men was 27.0 +/- 5.2 mL/kg/min, and in women 21.7 +/- 5.5 mL/kg/min.
The disability correlated inversely with the VO2peak both in men (r = - 0.50, P = 0.004) and in women (r = - 0.25, P = 0.05).
No correlation between disease duration and VO2peak was found.
In a multivariate regression analysis, neurological disability was confirmed as a predictor of VO2peak.
No evidence of a relationship between leisure physical activity and VO2peak was found.
A main finding was that disability and exercise capacity are inter-related, even in subjects who are not severely handicapped (84% had an EDSS of < 4.0).
The level of disability should be taken into account in the planning of aerobic exercise programs for fully ambulatory MS subjects.