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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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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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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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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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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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Jebb G. Remelius, Joseph Hamill, Jane Kent-Braun, and Richard E.A. Van Emmerik

Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) often have poor balance control that is especially apparent during dynamic tasks such as gait initiation (GI). The purpose of this study was to investigate how balance symptoms due to MS alter spatiotemporal variables, coordination, and temporal margins within the stability boundary during gait initiation. Twelve women with MS (Expanded Disability Status Scale [EDSS] mean = 4.0, SD = 1.4) and 12 women without MS (control group) initiated gait at their preferred speed. MS participants attained a slower anterior velocity because of smaller anterior center of mass displacements and took longer to complete the initiation of gait than the control group. MS participants exhibited a smaller posterior shift in center of pressure during GI and stepped with a longer dual support time than the control group. However, these changes may be due to differences in initiation velocity. Relative timing analysis showed invariance in postural and locomotor phases of gait initiation between groups. The MS group showed different coordination between anterior-posterior and medio-lateral center of pressure components while increasing temporal margins to the posterior and lateral stability boundaries in comparison with the control group. Overall, during gait initiation at their preferred speed the MS participants adopted a functional strategy that produces lower speed and reduced proximity to the stability boundaries prior to stepping.

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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

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Cagla Ozkul, Arzu Guclu-Gunduz, Kader Eldemir, Yasemin Apaydin, Cagri Gulsen, Gokhan Yazici, Fatih Soke, and Ceyla Irkec

amount of percentage change between the single-task (ST) and dual-task (DT) of cognitive or motor performance ( Baddeley, 1997 ). The CMI has been reported to be more pronounced in multiple sclerosis (MS) due to neurodegeneration of the central nervous system, while some studies have reported no

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Robert W. Motl and Rachel Bollaert

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease with a putative environmental trigger that occurs in genetically susceptible persons, with an estimated prevalence exceeding 2.5 million adults worldwide ( Multiple Sclerosis Trust ). This disease typically begins with intermittent episodes of

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Manuel E. Hernandez, Erin O’Donnell, Gioella Chaparro, Roee Holtzer, Meltem Izzetoglu, Brian M. Sandroff, and Robert W. Motl

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system that results in damage of myelin, oligodendrocytes, and axons ( Noseworthy, Lucchinetti, Rodriguez, & Weinshenker, 2000 ). Mobility and cognitive impairments are considered clinical hallmark features of MS ( DeLuca