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Effects of yoga practice in multiple sclerosis patients: a multidimensional approach

Abstract

Introduction: Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common neurological diseases, which is cause of disability in young adults. 60% of the patients will not be able to walk in some point of the disease. It represents important implications for patients' and family members' quality of life and financial cost to the society. In spite of the clinical significance of MS, its pathophysiology is not completely understood. Many researches have been investigating the role of B and T lymphocytes, the extension of central nervous system lesions and brain activation through brain images, separately. A multidimensional approach is necessary for the understanding of MS mechanisms and to verify the effects of therapies, including some non-conventional, such as yoga. Yoga has been reported as a safe and low coast practice which may be more accessible to MS patients than other exercises. In patients with MS there are few well controlled studies, which indicate for example, improvements in fatigue, mobility, gait and humor. Objectives: to compare patients with different EDSS (Expanded Disability Status Scale) scores referring to fatigue, quality of life, movement, cognition, brain activity, self-efficacy, stress, anxiety, depression, affective states and the cytokines secretion and antibodies production by B lymphocytes. To evaluate the effects of yoga practice in MS patients (EDSS<6) in these parameters. Method: we will apply a multidimensional approach which involve neuropsychological evaluation, quality of life, affective aspects, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) combined with movement analysis (gait, strength, balance etc.) - a novel approach, comparing patients with different MS scores in the EDSS and the effects of yoga training. (AU)

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