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A pilot study: Evaluation of the effect of functional electrical stimulation cycling on muscle metabolism in non-ambulatory people with multiple sclerosis

Mary Ann Reynolds, MS, Kevin McCully, PhD, Blake Burdett, BS, Christine Manella, PT, Laura Hawkins, BS, Deborah Backus, PT, PhD

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, In Press – Corrected Proof, Available online 4 November 2014

To investigate the changes in muscle oxygen consumption (mVO2) using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) after 4 weeks of training with functional electrical stimulation (FES) cycling in non-ambulatory people with MS.

This was a 4 week before-after trial to assess changes in mVO2 after an FES cycling intervention.

Lab in a non-profit rehabilitation hospital in the United States of America.

Eight people (7M/1F) from a volunteer/referred sample with moderate to severe MS (EDSS > 6.0).

Participants cycled 30 minutes/session, 3 days/week for 4 weeks or a total of 12 sessions.

Main Outcome
mVO2 of the right vastus lateralis muscle was measured with NIRS before and within one week after the intervention. Six bouts of 15s electrical stimulation increasing from 2 -7 Hz were used to activate the muscle. mVO2 was assessed by analyzing the slope of the NIRS O2 signal during a 10s arterial occlusion after each electrical stimulation bout.

A significant FES training by electrical stimulation frequency level interaction was observed (p = 0.031) with an average increase in mVO2 of 47% across frequencies with a main effect of training, p = 0.047.

FES cycling for 4 weeks improved mVO2 suggesting FES cycling is a potential therapy for improving muscle health in people with MS who are non-ambulatory.

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About the Editors

  • Prof Timothy Vartanian

    Timothy Vartanian, Professor at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell...
  • Dr Claire S. Riley

    Claire S. Riley, MD is an assistant attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology in the Neurological Institute, Columbia University,...
  • Dr Rebecca Farber

    Rebecca Farber, MD is an attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University, in New...

This online Resource Centre has been made possible by a donation from EMD Serono, Inc., a business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Note that EMD Serono, Inc., has no editorial control or influence over the content of this Resource Centre. The Resource Centre and all content therein are subject to an independent editorial review.

The Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation
supports promising translational research projects by academic researchers to improve understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS) for the ultimate benefit of patients.  For full information and application details, please click here

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