Lowering body temperature helps to improve exercise and functional capability in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients by preventing disease worsening, researchers in Greece report.
The study with that finding, “Impact of pre-cooling therapy on the physical performance and functional capacity of multiple sclerosis patients: A systematic review,” was published in the journal Multiple Sclerosis And Related Disorders.
Exercise is known to help prevent and manage MS symptoms and complications. However, due to an inefficient regulation of body temperature reported by many MS patients, exercise-induced excessive increase in body temperature (hyperthermia) can worsen the disease symptoms. So, it becomes difficult for patients to participate in physical activity.
Pre-cooling treatment before an exercise regimen could be helpful. However, according to the team, the available information about pre-cooling therapy and functional improvement in MS patients has not been throughly analyzed.
Now, researchers reviewed previously published studies on the use of cooling treatments and their effect on MS patients’ ability to be physical active.
Until September 2018, only six studies described the use of a cooling intervention and its effect on functionality. The number of participants in these six studies ranged between six and 84 MS patients.
Different cooling techniques were used in these studies. Three studies used “active cooling” to lower body temperature. Active cooling refers to a liquid cooling method in which cold liquid was circulated in multiple tubes through the patient’s clothing or other material.
One study implemented the “passive cooling” technique of using ice or cold gel packs to absorb heat. Direct skin contact with cold liquid or cold solid surface were used in the other two studies.
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