Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada

Effects of FES cycling combining leg and trunk muscle stimulations in persons with multiple sclerosis: a pilot study

Principal Investigator: Dr. Andreanne Blanchette

Affiliation: Université Laval

Year awarded: 2018-2019

Amount Awarded: $42,217 (Pilot study)

Keywords: Functional electrical stimulation, walking, mobility

Summary:

  • Exercising slows progression, reduces pain and maintains good physical and mental health in multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Functional electrical stimulation(FES) is one approach where a mild electrical stimulation is applied to the muscle groups to promote movement. While some studies have identified benefits of this approach, only stimulations to leg muscles were applied. The benefits of using FES to stimulate both leg and trunk muscles is unknown.
  • The research team will:
    • Investigate the effects of an 8-week program of FES cycling combining leg and trunk muscle stimulation on balance, mobility, and fatigue in individuals with MS.

Project Description:

Problems with walking, balance, and coordination are symptoms that have some of the greatest impact on day-to-day quality of life for individuals with MS. Functional electrical stimulation (FES) while cycling is a physically accessible modality that offers people with mobility limitations an option for exercise. To date, few studies have shown the benefits of this approach in people with MS as the majority have only examined the effects of leg stimulation alone. Combining leg and trunk muscle stimulation may potentialize the effects of FES cycling. Dr. Andreanne Blanchette and her research team plan to investigate the effects of FES cycling combining leg and trunk muscle stimulation on balance, mobility, and fatigue in individuals with MS.

Potential Impact: Implementation of FES cycling program, in clinical settings and in the community, as a component of activity-based rehabilitation, in order to have broader, systematic impact on the health and quality of life of persons with MS.

Project Status: In Progress