Body Temperature Regulation Problems May Prevent MS Patients From Exercising

shutterstock_180557219Exercise is a good way for MS patients to manage some symptoms associated with the said disease. But the rise in body temperature associated with exercise can also temporarily cause some symptoms to get worse. Researchers also recently discovered that the body temperature increase during exercise may be worse for people with MS as compared to healthy subjects.

Researchers at Southern Methodist University, working with colleagues from University of Sydney, set out to determine how moderate exercise may affect MS patients as compared to healthy individuals. Mu Huang, senior lead of the said study, and a team of researchers sought out to conduct exercise tests on five patients with MS and five healthy control subjects. The participants were made to cycle for 30-60 minutes inside a temperature-controlled room.

The researchers found out that sweating took longer to start and with the sweat rate lower among the MS patients compared to the healthy participants. The difference in temperature regulation in the body caused a greater core body temperature among MS patients compared to the healthy controls. This condition of the body overheating may cause the MS symptoms to temporarily get worse. In a way, this can have an impact in discouraging MS patients from exercising further.

The researchers further said, “While preliminary, these findings suggest that a larger rise in body temperature seen in MS patients is due to a lower sweat rate and a delay in the start of sweating thereby limiting the body’s ability to cool itself down. A greater understanding of how MS affects the body’s ability to dissipate heat during exercise will provide insight into ways of reducing the impact of heat intolerance and improving the safety and benefit of exercise for MS patients.”

Mu Huang presented the results of the study, in a poster session at the Experimental Biology meeting last April 29.

Source: Science Daily

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