Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 1999 Sep-Oct;78(5):447-56.

Physiologic and thermal responses of male and female patients with multiple sclerosis to head and neck cooling.

Author information

Lockheed Martin Engineering & Sciences, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California 94035, USA.


Personal cooling systems are used to alleviate symptoms of multiple sclerosis and to prevent increased core temperature during daily activities. The objective of this study was to determine the thermal and physiologic responses of patients with multiple sclerosis to short-term maximal head and neck cooling. A Life Support Systems, Inc. Mark VII portable cooling system and a liquid cooling helmet were used to cool the head and neck regions of 24 female and 26 male patients with multiple sclerosis in this study. The subjects, seated in an upright position at normal room temperature (approximately 22 degrees C), were cooled for 30 min by the liquid cooling garment, which was operated at its maximum cooling capacity. Oral, right, and left ear temperatures and cooling system parameters were logged manually every 5 min. Forearm, calf, chest, and rectal temperatures, heart rate, and respiration rate were recorded continuously on a U.F.I., Inc. Biolog ambulatory monitor. This protocol was performed during the winter and summer to investigate the seasonal differences in the way patients with multiple sclerosis respond to head and neck cooling. No significant differences were found between the male and female subject group's mean rectal or oral temperature responses during any phase of the experiment. The mean oral temperature decreased significantly (P < 0.05) for both groups approximately 0.3 degrees C after 30 min of cooling and continued to decrease further (approximately 0.1-0.2 degrees C) for a period of approximately 15 min after removal of the cooling helmet. The mean rectal temperatures decreased significantly (P < 0.05) in both male and female subjects in the winter studies (approximately 0.2-0.3 degrees C) and for the male subjects during the summer test (approximately 0.2 degrees C). However, the rectal temperature of the female subjects did not change significantly during any phase of the summer test. These data indicate that head and neck cooling may, in general, be used to reduce the oral and body temperatures of both male and female patients with multiple sclerosis by the approximate amount needed for symptomatic relief as shown by other researchers. However, thermal response of patients with multiple sclerosis may be affected by gender and seasonal factors, which should be considered in the use of liquid cooling therapy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center