Aerobic exercise has been found to benefit memory and brain function in people with multiple sclerosis.
In a new report published in the journal Neurocase: The Neural Basis of Cognition
, Kessler Foundation researchers found MS patients with memory problems — common among people with the condition — who engaged in aerobic cycling) exercise for 30 minute exercise sessions three times per week had a 16.5 percent increase in brain volume and function, and a 53.7 percent increase in memory, after just three months.
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"These findings clearly warrant large-scale clinical trials of aerobic exercise for the treatment of memory deficits in the MS population," said James Sumowski, who helped lead the study.
He said the findings are the first direct evidence for beneficial effects of aerobic exercise on brain and memory in individuals with MS, about half of whom experience memory problems.
"Aerobic exercise may be the first effective treatment for MS patients with memory problems," added Victoria Leavitt. "Moreover, aerobic exercise has the advantages of being readily available, low cost, self-administered, and lacking in side effects."
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