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Exploring the role of physical activity and exercise for managing vascular comorbidities in people with multiple sclerosis: A scoping review.

Review article
Ewanchuk BW, et al. Mult Scler Relat Disord. 2018.


INTRODUCTION: Vascular comorbidities are prevalent among people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and have adverse disease-related consequences. In the general population, physical activity (PA) and exercise training have proven beneficial at all levels of vascular disease risk management. People with MS exhibit particularly low rates of PA; therefore, PA represents a modifiable health behavior for potentially managing vascular comorbidity risk in MS, and in turn, reducing disease burden. However, points of evidence justifying such an approach have yet to be summarized.

OBJECTIVE: To conduct a scoping review of existing evidence linking PA and exercise training to potential modification of vascular comorbidities and related risk factors in people with MS.

METHODS: We searched five electronic databases (PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, and CINAHL Plus) from inception to November 2017, for articles involving relevant vascular comorbidities (obesity, hyperlipidemia, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes) in people with MS in conjunction with measures of PA, physical fitness, sedentary behavior, or exercise training. Studies were limited to English-language and primary research articles. Data were extracted and summarized by comorbidity type and study design (observational vs. interventional).

RESULTS: Our initial search identified 1028 articles; subsequent screening resulted in 34 articles meeting the final inclusion criteria, including both observational (n = 17) and interventional (n = 17) studies. Most of the articles reported on obesity (n = 29), although evidence surrounding hyperlipidemia (n = 5), arterial function and hypertension (n = 5), and diabetes (n = 5) was also identified. Data supporting a beneficial role for PA or exercise training could be drawn from each comorbidity category. Overall, 14 of the 17 observational studies identified (82.4%) reported an association between higher levels of PA or cardiorespiratory fitness, or decreased sedentary behavior, and better function of at least one risk factor related to vascular comorbid conditions in people with MS. The efficacy of exercise training in limiting vascular comorbidity risk and burden was dependent upon intervention type and duration, with 9 of 17 interventional studies (52.9%) reporting improvement in at least one relevant measure of vascular comorbidity in participants with MS.

CONCLUSIONS: Evidence points to a potential relationship between PA and exercise and risk factors related to vascular comorbidities in people with MS. PA and exercise training interventions may represent an effective therapeutic strategy for managing vascular comorbidities in people with MS, justifying further investigation.

Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.


30216755 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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