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Rachel E. Klaren, Elizabeth A. Hubbard, Weimo Zhu and Robert W. Motl

This brief research note examined the reliability of scores from an accelerometer as measures of sedentary and physical activity behaviors in persons with multiple sclerosis (MS). The analysis was performed on a combined data set from 2 previous longitudinal investigations of physical activity in MS. We focused on the number of days required to reliably estimate sedentary behavior, based on time spent in sedentary behavior per day and number of sedentary breaks, number of long sedentary bouts, and average length of sedentary bouts per day. We further examined the number of days required to reliably estimate physical activity behavior, based on time spent in light and moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and average length of activity bouts per day. Between 4–6 days of monitoring and 3–7 days of monitoring were necessary for good reliability of scores from all sedentary outcomes and physical activity outcomes, respectively. These results should guide research and practice examining sedentary and physical activity behaviors using accelerometry in persons with MS.

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Yoojin Suh, Robert W. Motl, Connor Olsen and Ina Joshi

Background:

Physical inactivity is prevalent in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and this highlights the importance of developing behavioral interventions for increasing physical activity (PA) in MS. This pilot trial examined the efficacy of a 6-week, behavioral intervention based on social cognitive theory (SCT) delivered by newsletters and phone calls for increasing PA in persons with MS who were physically inactive and had middle levels of self-efficacy.

Methods:

The sample included 68 persons with relapsing-remitting MS who were randomly assigned into intervention and control groups. The intervention group received SCT-based information by newsletters and phone calls, whereas the controls received information regarding topics such as stress management over 6 weeks. Participants completed self-report of PA and social cognitive variables.

Results:

The intervention group had a significant increase in self-reported PA (d = 0.56, P = .02) over the 6 weeks, but the controls had a nonsignificant change (d = –0.13, P = .45). Goal setting was changed in the intervention group (d = 0.68, P ≤ .01) and identified as a significant mediator of change in self-reported PA.

Conclusions:

This study provides initial evidence for the benefit of a theory-based behavioral intervention for increasing PA in MS.

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Jessie M. Huisinga, Kendra K. Schmid, Mary L. Filipi and Nicholas Stergiou

Multiple sclerosis (MS) causes severe gait problems in relatively young individuals, yet there have been limited studies to quantitatively identify the specific gait parameters that are affected. The purpose of this study was to define any differences in biomechanical gait parameters between patients with MS and healthy controls. A total of 31 MS patients and 31 healthy controls were evaluated: joint torques and joint powers were calculated at the ankle, knee, and hip during the stance phase of gait. The self-selected walking velocity was used as a covariate in the analysis to ensure that group differences were not due to differences in walking velocity between the MS and healthy control groups. Reduced angular range, less joint torque, and reduced joint power were seen in patients with MS. We also found significant correlations between biomechanical gait parameters and EDSS score, which provides a clinical rating of disease severity. Our findings provide a quantitative assessment of the gait mechanics employed in patients with MS. The altered lower extremity mechanics observed in patients with MS reflect both a neurological and strength deficit compared with healthy controls during walking.

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

effects of normal aging along with a chronic, disabling neurological disease ( Stern, Sorkin, Milton, & Sperber, 2010 ). Older adults with MS report poor health status and functioning, and dependence for activities of daily living ( Finlayson & van Denend, 2003 ; Finlayson, van Denend, & Hudson, 2004

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Yu-Ting Tseng, Sanaz Khosravani, Arash Mahnan and Jürgen Konczak

This review addresses the role of exercise as an intervention for treating neurological disease. It focuses on three major neurological diseases that either present in acute or neurodegenerative forms—Parkinson’s disease, cerebellar ataxia, and cortical stroke. Each of the diseases affects primarily different brain structures, namely the basal ganglia, the cerebellum, and the cerebrum. These structures are all known to be involved in motor control, and the dysfunction of each structure leads to distinct movement deficits. The review summarizes current knowledge on how exercise can aid rehabilitation or therapeutic efforts. In addition, it addresses the role of robotic devices in enhancing available therapies by reviewing how robot-aided therapies may promote the recovery for stroke survivors. It highlights recent scientific evidence in support of exercise as a treatment for brain dysfunction, but also outlines the still open challenges for unequivocally demonstrating the benefits of exercise.

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Gal Ziv and Ronnie Lidor

The purpose of this study was to review a series of studies (n = 20) examining the effects of adding music to exercise programs in clinical populations and in the elderly. We found that the addition of music can (a) improve exercise capacity and increase patients’ motivation to participate in cardiac and pulmonary exercise rehabilitation programs; (b) lead to improved balance, greater ability to perform activities of daily living, and improved life satisfaction in elderly individuals; (c) enhance adherence and function of individuals suffering from neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s; and (d) sustain these benefits if continued on a long-term basis. Based on the reviewed studies, a number of methodological concerns were presented, among them the choice of music style. One of the practical implications suggested for clinicians and practitioners was that the type of music should be individualized based on each patient’s musical preferences.

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Vennila Krishnan, Paulo Barbosa de Freitas and Slobodan Jaric

We investigated hand function in mildly involved multiple sclerosis (MS) patients (N = 16; Expanded Disability Status Scale 1–5, 9-hole peg test 14–32 s) during static and dynamic manipulation tasks using an instrumented device. When compared with healthy controls (N = 16), the patients revealed impaired task performance regarding their ability to exert prescribed patterns of load force (L; force acting tangentially at the digits-object surface). Regarding the coordination of grip force (G; normal component) and L, the data only revealed an elevated G/L ratio, although both the G and L coupling (maximum correlation coefficients and the time lags between them) and the G modulation (gain and offset of G with respect to L) remained comparable in the two groups. Finally, most of the data suggested no MS-specific effects of switching from uni- to bimanual tasks, from available visual feedback to deprived feedback conditions. We conclude that the deterioration in the ability for precise control of external forces and overgripping could precede the decoupling of G and L and decreased G modulation in early phases of the disease. The results also suggest that the applied methodology could be sensitive enough to detect mild levels of impairment of hand function in MS and, possibly, other neurological diseases.

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Dong-Sung Choi, Hwang-Jae Lee, Yong-II Shin, Ahee Lee, Hee-Goo Kim and Yun-Hee Kim

use of different vibration stimulation frequencies have not yet been investigated. This may give an insight how to select the vibration frequencies for specific purpose in treating the patients with neurologic diseases. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a noninvasive optical technique

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Anson B. Rosenfeldt, Amanda L. Penko, Andrew S. Bazyk, Matthew C. Streicher, Tanujit Dey and Jay L. Alberts

) conditions. The serial 7s test is a widely-accepted method of evaluating attention and concentration in older adults ( Hausdorff, Schweiger, Herman, Yogev-Seligmann, & Giladi, 2008 ; Holtzer, Mahoney, & Verghese, 2014 ) and those with neurological disease ( Wild et al., 2013 ; Yogev et al., 2005 ). The

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Özlem Aslan, Elif Balevi Batur and Jale Meray

surgery, history of neurologic disease (eg, stroke, polyneuropathy), and nonregulated hypertension were not included in this study. The pain reported by the patients during daily activities (night pain, pain during going up or down the stairs) was determined according to a 0- to 10-point visual analog