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Resistance Training May Help Slow Progression of Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is characterized by accelerated brain atrophy, which relates to disease progression. A recent study suggests that resistance training may help protect the brains of people with multiple sclerosis and may even delay the development of the disease.


Participants in the study included 35 people with multiple sclerosis. Over the course of six months, half of the participants performed resistance training twice a week, while the other half did not. The researchers conducted MRI scans of the brain at the onset and end of the study period.


At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that people who were already on drugs to slow brain shrinkage had less shrinkage than expected if they participated in the resistance training. They also found that several smaller brain areas were growing.


Researchers from Aarhus University conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on July 28, 2017, in Multiple Sclerosis Journal.


Resistance training is a type of exercise that involves stressing your muscles, for example with weights. Studies suggest that it is an effective way to both lose weight and build muscle.

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