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Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Physical Function in Older Adults With Multiple Sclerosis

Katie L. Cederberg, Robert W. Motl, and Edward McAuley

There is a significant worldwide shift in the age distribution of persons living with multiple sclerosis (MS). For example, the peak prevalence of MS in Manitoba, Canada occurred at 35-39 years of age, with no documented cases beyond an age of 64 years, in 1984. The peak prevalence was 55-59 years

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Physical Activity and Cognitive Function in Multiple Sclerosis

Robert W. Motl, Eduard Gappmaier, Kathryn Nelson, and Ralph H.B. Benedict

Cognitive impairment is prevalent, disabling, and poorly managed in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). This cross-sectional study examined the associations among physical activity, cognitive processing speed, and learning and memory in 33 persons with MS who underwent neuropsychological assessments and wore a physical activity monitor for 7 days. Cognitive impairment was greatest in cognitive processing speed. Physical activity was significantly correlated with cognitive processing speed (pr = .35), but not learning and memory (pr = .20), after controlling for sex, age, and education. Researchers should examine exercise training and physical activity effects on cognitive performance, particularly processing speed, in MS.

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Exercise and Quality of Life in Women With Multiple Sclerosis

Peter R. Giacobbi Jr., Frederick Dietrich, Rebecca Larson, and Lesley J. White

The purpose of this study was to evaluate perceptions of quality of life after a 4-month progressive resistance training program for individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS). A second purpose was to examine participants’ views about factors that facilitated or impeded exercise behavior. Qualitative interviews were conducted with eight females (Mage = 49.86, SD = 6.94) with relapsing remitting MS. Audio-tape recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and coded. Walking performance improved (M = 13.08%, SD = 7.11). All participants perceived improvements in muscular strength and endurance while six indicated improvements in walking endurance and performance in tasks of daily living. Social benefits of participation were discussed by seven participants including interactions in the exercise environment. We concluded that supervised resistance training may promote improvements in QOL for women with relapsing remitting MS.

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Daughters of Mothers With Multiple Sclerosis: Their Experiences of Play

Alison J. Jonzon and Donna L. Goodwin

The play experiences of daughters who were caregivers to their mothers with multiple sclerosis were described. The experiences of four Caucasian women aged 19–26 years were captured using the interpretive phenomenological methods of interviews, field notes, and artifacts. Family systems theory provided the conceptual framework for the study and facilitated the interpretation of the findings. The thematic analysis revealed three themes: (a) being a good daughter, (b) blurred relationship boundaries, and (c) encumbered play. Being a good daughter encompassed personal caregiving for their mothers. The associated guilt and worry was perceived to mature the participants beyond their years. Excessive caregiving exacerbated by limited social networks contributed to the blurring of mother-daughter relationships. Play, although restricted, provided a welcomed escape from caregiving responsibilities. Impoverished play experiences as caregivers were reported to negatively impact adult physical activity and recreation pursuits.

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Case Study of a Female Competitive Mountain Bike Racer With Multiple Sclerosis

Kimberly Fasczewski and Diane Gill

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects 2.1 million people world-wide. There is no cure but an expanding body of research suggests that physical activity can have a positive impact on the symptoms of MS. This case study was designed as a view into the life experiences of one woman’s journey with MS as a competitive athlete, focusing on how psychological skills aid her in conquering her challenges. The participant was a 51-year old competitive mountain bike racer who was diagnosed with MS as a teenager. A postpositivist approach using a series of in-depth, conversational interviews explored the role athletics has played in her life and specifically in helping her live with MS. The interviews focused on the psychological skills the participant used to deal with her sport and MS. Results suggest that resilience, resulting from self-efficacy, goal setting, and a positive outlook, is the key to her success, and that her participation in athletics strengthens those positive characteristics. Findings may be helpful to both sport psychology and medical professionals who work with individuals with MS.

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Depression, Anxiety, and Physical Activity in Older Adults With Multiple Sclerosis

Rachel E. Bollaert, C. Danielle Jones, Petra Silic, and Robert W. Motl

There is a shift in the demography of multiple sclerosis (MS) based on chronological age among adults in the United States ( Wallin et al., 2019 ). Those aged 55–64 years are the most prevalent group of women and men with MS in the United States, and those aged 65–74 years are the third and second

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Mobility and Dual Tasking in the Everyday Lives of Adults with Multiple Sclerosis: A Qualitative Exploration

Michael VanNostrand, Katie Emberley, Erin Cairns, Kristina Shanahan, and Susan L. Kasser

As a result of neurodegeneration, individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience progressive decline in both functional mobility and cognition ( Chiaravalloti & DeLuca, 2008 ; Kalron, 2016 ). Mobility impairment, which affects almost 90% of those with the disease ( Allali et al., 2014

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Cognitive-Motor Interference and Cortical Activation While Walking in Individuals With Multiple Sclerosis

Michael VanNostrand, Brittany Belanger, Gabriel Purin, Susan L. Kasser, and Michael Cannizzaro

The neurodegeneration associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) leads to persistent and progressive functional decline and compromised mobility. Almost 90% of those with MS experience difficulty walking ( Allali et al., 2014 ), including those in early stages of the disease and with low levels of

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The Effects of Optical Flow Perturbations on Standing Balance in People With Multiple Sclerosis

Olivia S. Elie, Jason R. Franz, and Brian P. Selgrade

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, neurodegenerative disease with many adverse effects on patients including balance impairment. 1 An estimated 2.5 million people across the world are currently diagnosed with MS. 2 Poor balance control is one of the most prominent MS symptoms, affecting

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Examining Multilevel Environmental Correlates of Physical Activity Among Older Adults With Multiple Sclerosis

Stephanie L. Silveira, Jessica F. Baird, and Robert W. Motl

There are one million adults currently living with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the United States ( Wallin et al., 2019 ). The highest prevalence of MS occurs in adults between 55 and 64 years of age, and this underscores the critical focus on individuals aging with MS ( Wallin et al., 2019 ). Aging