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Physical Activity Correlates With Neurological Impairment and Disability in Multiple Sclerosis

Motl, Robert W. PhD*; Snook, Erin M. MS*; Wynn, Daniel R. MD; Vollmer, Timothy MD

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease: June 2008 - Volume 196 - Issue 6 - p 492-495
doi: 10.1097/NMD.0b013e318177351b
Brief Report

This study examined the correlation of physical activity with neurological impairment and disability in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). Eighty individuals with MS wore an accelerometer for 7 days and completed the Symptom Inventory (SI), Performance Scales (PS), and Expanded Disability Status Scale. There were large negative correlations between the accelerometer and SI (r = −0.56; ρ = −0.58) and Expanded Disability Status Scale (r = −0.60; ρ = −0.69) and a moderate negative correlation between the accelerometer and PS (r = −0.39; ρ = −0.48) indicating that physical activity was associated with reduced neurological impairment and disability. Such findings provide a preliminary basis for using an accelerometer and the SI and PS as outcome measures in large-scale prospective and experimental examinations of the effect of physical activity behavior on disability and dependence in MS.

*Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, Illinois; †Consultants in Neurology Multiple Sclerosis Center, Northbrook, Illinois; and ‡Neuroimmunology Program, Barrow Neurological Institute, Phoenix, Arizona.

Send reprint requests to Robert W. Motl, PhD, Department of Kinesiology and Community Health, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 350 Freer Hall, 906 South Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801. E-mail:

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.