Objective: We sought to investigate whether there is any additional effect of coupled cognitive and physical rehabilitation compared to exercise training alone on walking and cognitive performance in individuals with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).
Methods: A randomized controlled trial was conducted from March to November 2015 with 30 individuals with RRMS (aged 20 to 50 years; 21 women, 9 men), who underwent detailed medical and neurologic examination. They were randomly allocated using sealed envelopes to either the study group, who received physical and cognitive rehabilitation (dual-task training), or the control group, who received physical rehabilitation alone. Participants (in both groups) were assessed twice (8 weeks apart), before and after rehabilitation. Assessment tools were the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), the Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS), neuropsychological evaluation (using RehaCom), and walking tests.
Results: After training, the control group significantly improved regarding MMSE, attention/concentration test, and 10-meter walking test, whereas the scores of the study group significantly improved in all studied parameters (Expanded Disability Status Scale, MMSE, logical reasoning, and attention/concentration and walking tests). The differential (delta) scores from before to after rehabilitation were significantly higher in the study group for logical reasoning, attention/concentration, and 2-minute walking distance scores.
Conclusions: Coupled physical and cognitive (dual-task) training showed concurrent improvement in cognitive and walking abilities in individuals with RRMS which exceeded that achieved by physical training alone.
Author keywords: Multiple Sclerosis; Cognitive and Physical Rehabilitation
Author affiliations: AE, AAM: Department of Neuromuscular Disorders and Surgery, Faculty of Physical Therapy, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt;
AME, ASA: Department of Neurology, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Cairo, Egypt; AEHEES: National Institute of Longevity Elderly Sciences, Department of Occupational Therapy, Beni Suef University, Beni Suef, Egypt
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