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White, A T.1; Davis, S L.1; Vener, J M.1; Wilson, T E.1; Petajan, J H.1

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2002 - Volume 34 - Issue 5 - p S169
E19d Free Communication/Slide Multiple Sclerosis/Neuromuscular Disorders

1University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah

Increased body temperature in MS can produce transient neurological signs.

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Our purpose was to evaluate the effects of lower limb cooling on fatigue and motor function in MS patients with minimal (MIN; EDSS = 2.0–3.5; n = 15) or moderate (MOD; EDSS = 4.0–6.5; n = 15) disability, and healthy controls (CON; n = 10).

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Subjects were cooled twice via water immersion (20 °C) to the suprailiac crest for 30 min (COOL) and 5 min (SHAM) before exercise. The following were administered before, immediately after, and 30 min after exercise for COOL and SHAM trials: 25-ft walk, 10 sec finger tap, and Fatigue Impact Scale (FIS). Exercise consisted of arm/leg ergometry at 60% VO2 peak for 30 min.

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After COOL, core temperature (Trec) was −0.24, −0.12, and −0.78 °C from baseline for CON, MIN, and MOD, respectively. SHAM produced no Trec changes. Following exercise, Trec were +0.21, +0.36, and −0.24 °C from baseline after COOL, and +0.60, +0.68, and +0.55 °C from baseline after SHAM for CON, MIN, and MOD, respectively. FIS scores were significantly different at baseline (CON < MIN < MOD) for COOL and SHAM (p < 0.05). MOD exhibited significantly greater fatigue immediately postexercise with SHAM (p < 0.05). Walking deteriorated immediately postexercise for MIN and MOD for COOL and SHAM, although MOD slowed significantly more after SHAM (p < 0.05). MOD had significantly lower tapping scores at each measurement (p < 0.05). COOL did not result in improved tapping performance for any group.

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Precooling attenuated Trec increases during exercise and positively influenced fatigue and function. Supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

©2002The American College of Sports Medicine