Effect of strength training on SDMT scores in patients with MS

According to preliminary data presented at the 2022 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers Annual Meeting, there is a slight learning effect based on Symbol Digit Modalities Test (SDMT) scores of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who follow a bodyweight training program. (CMSC) June 1-4 in National Harbor, Maryland.

The risk of decreased bone mass is exacerbated by corticosteroids, which are often prescribed to control relapses in MS patients. Strength training is common in rehabilitation in this patient population and may also help control osteopenia. The researchers sought to study the effects of strength training in MS patients on bone density, quality of life and cognition.

To do this, they studied 25 patients (aged 45-55; Expanded Disability Status Scale score less than 5.5; able to train at bodyweight without assistance) with a diagnosis of SEP. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) was performed at day 1 and week 14 (± 2 weeks). The 6-week program consisted of participants doing their workout twice a week at home, unaided, and once a week via Zoom in a class led by a physical therapist. For those requiring catch-up visits, 2 weeks have been added to the program.

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At day 1, week 8, and week 12 (± 2 weeks), the Multiple Sclerosis Impact Scale (MSIS) and SMDT were administered. There was a slight learning effect recorded according to SDMT scores. The results of the DEXA and MSIS tests are not yet analyzed and, according to the researchers, they faced pandemic, social and emotional obstacles to obtain the data.

The researchers concluded that “preliminary results show a slight learning effect based on SDMT scores. DEXA scan T-scores and MSIS scores will be statistically analyzed and presented at the end of the study.


Jones D, Iuso AM, Sarni J, Blitz K, Foley FW, Picone MA. Effects of a weight-based training program on bone density, cognition and quality of life. Presented at the 2022 GFCS Annual Meeting; June 1-4, 2022; National Harbor, Maryland. Abstract quality of life11.

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