Remotely Delivered and Supported Aerobic Walking Exercise Training for Multiple Sclerosis
Phase-Based Progress Estimates
Kessler Foundation, West Orange, NJ
Multiple Sclerosis+1 More
Remotely Delivered and Supported Aerobic Walking Exercise Training - Behavioral
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What conditions do you have?
What conditions do you have?
Cognitive processing speed (CPS) impairment is prevalent, impactful, and poorly-managed in multiple sclerosis (MS). Upwards of 67% of patients present with MS-related CPS impairment, which is associated with poor everyday life outcomes. There are no FDA-approved pharmacological treatments for CPS impairment in MS. This landscape creates a critical public health and clinical crisis that underscores the importance of identifying efficacious approaches for managing CPS impairment in MS. We believe that aerobic exercise training represents a promising and powerful behavioral approach. This project involves a single-blind randomized controlled trial of 16-weeks of remotely-delivered and supported aerobic walking exercise training compared with an active control condition (remotely-delivered and supported stretching and toning activities) on CPS (assessed remotely) in 24 fully-ambulatory, but CPS-impaired persons with MS.
This pilot trial will be conducted in a fully-remote fashion, such that there are no required in-person visits to Kessler Foundation. Participants (N=24) will initially undertake baseline assessments of CPS remotely via a HIPAA-compliant virtual platform (i.e., Zoom for Healthcare). This assessment will also serve as a screen for ensuring impaired CPS. At this virtual study visit, participants further will undergo a neuropsychological test of verbal learning and complete questionnaires assessing physical activity and MS symptoms via computer (REDCap). Following baseline, participants will be randomly assigned into the remotely-delivered and supported aerobic walking exercise training intervention condition (n=12) or remotely-delivered and supported attention and social contact control condition (n=12) using concealment. Both conditions will be administered remotely over 16-weeks via telerehabilitation by a postdoctoral behavior coach during scheduled calls. Participants will undertake aerobic walking exercise training or stretching-and-toning in the home/community. The exercise training intervention involves aerobic walking exercise training that is monitored by a waist-worn FitBit and follows prescriptive guidelines for aerobic exercise for persons with MS. The control condition involves stretching-and-toning based on a manual published by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Both conditions further involve one-on-one coaching, action-planning via calendars, logs for self-monitoring, and newsletters based on Social Cognitive Theory. After the 16-week exercise/control period, participants will undergo remote assessments of CPS and verbal learning (administered by a treatment-blinded assessor) as well as completion of questionnaires assessing physical activity and MS symptoms via REDCap.
If successful, this RCT will provide preliminary data on the extent to which (a) remotely-delivered/supported aerobic walking ET results in significant CPS improvements in CPS-impaired persons with MS; and (b) the intervention results in increased physical activity relative to an active control in a cognitively-impaired cohort. These pilot data will be essential for supporting a large R01 application on a multi-site, effectiveness RCT in a nationwide sample of CPS-impaired persons with MS.
Michael Gill holds a Bachelors of Science in Integrated Science and Mathematics from McMaster University. During his degree he devoted considerable time modeling the pharmacodynamics of promising drug candidates. Since then, he has leveraged this knowledge of the investigational new drug ecosystem to help his father navigate clinical trials for multiple myeloma, an experience which prompted him to co-found Power Life Sciences: a company that helps patients access randomized controlled trials.