Influence of sports climbing and yoga on spasticity, cognitive function, mood and fatigue in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Author: Velikonja O, Curić K, Ozura A, Jazbec SS.
Affiliation: University of Ljubljana, Medical Faculty, Vrazov trg 2, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
Conference/Journal: Clin Neurol Neurosurg.
Date published: 2010 Sep
Other: Volume ID: 112 , Issue ID: 7 , Pages: 597-601 , Word Count: 226

OBJECTIVES: Spasticity, cognitive impairment, depression and fatigue significantly reduce the quality of life in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. To find out whether nonpharmalogical treatment approaches can reduce these symptoms we investigated effects of sports climbing (SC) and yoga on spasticity, cognitive impairment, mood change and fatigue in MS patients. Sports climbing (SC) and yoga are aerobic physical activities comprised a series of stretching techniques, implementation of which demands body control and planning of complex movements.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: 20 subjects with relapsing-remitting or progressive MS, 26-50 years of age, with EDSS<or=6 and EDSS pyramidal functions score (EDSSpyr)>2 were enrolled in a randomized prospective study. The participants were randomly divided into SC and yoga group. We evaluated spasticity, cognitive function, mood and fatigue before and after both programs, that lasted 10 weeks, with standardized assessment methods.

RESULTS: There were no significant improvements in spasticity after SC and yoga. In the SC group we found a 25% reduction (p=0.046) in EDSSpyr. There were no differences in executive function after the completion of both programs. There was a 17% increase in selective attention performance after yoga (p=0.005). SC reduced fatigue for 32.5% (p=0.015), while yoga had no effect. We found no significant impact of SC and yoga on mood.

CONCLUSIONS: Yoga and SC might improve some of the MS symptoms and should be considered in the future as possible complementary treatments.