Background: There is limited information as to the effects of aerobic exercise on the immune system in people with multiple sclerosis (PwMS). One of the unresolved questions is which training intensity level is optimal for PwMS. Objective: The purpose of this study is to compare the effects of moderate intensity with the effects of vigorous intensity on cytokine levels in women with mild MS. Methods: The study included 15 women with MS and a control of 10 healthy women. The initial session determined the value of the maximum oxygen consumption and was carried out on an instrumented treadmill with a portable system for monitoring gases. During the second session, the participant walked on the treadmill for 15-minutes at a moderate capacity level (∼50% VO 2 peak). Blood samples were taken at baseline, immediately after exercise and two hours later. IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, TNF-α and IFN-ɣ cytokines were tested. The third session was identical to the second except for a vigorous training intensity session (∼80% VO 2 peak). Results: IL-6 increased after moderate exercise for both the MS (p = 0.02) and control group (p = 0.02). IL-10 decreased during the vigorous session only in the MS group (p = 0.02). No other differences were seen over time in either group for all other cytokine measurements. Conclusions: With the exception of IL-10, women with mild MS have similar inflammatory reactions to moderate and high intensity exercise as do healthy women.
- Multiple sclerosis