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Treadmill Training in Chronic MS: Efficacy and Cost-effectiveness

This study has been withdrawn prior to enrollment.
(Difficulty with recruiting)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
VA Office of Research and Development Identifier:
First received: June 2, 2006
Last updated: October 7, 2014
Last verified: October 2014
The purpose of the study is to determine whether treadmill training is safe and beneficial in patients with walking difficulty because of multiple sclerosis.

Condition Intervention
Multiple Sclerosis
Behavioral: Exercise

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Open Label
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Treadmill Training in Chronic MS: Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by VA Office of Research and Development:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Peak VO2 Treadmill, Step activity monitors, Timed 8 meter walk [ Time Frame: Pre study and 12 weeks Post study ]

Enrollment: 0
Study Start Date: April 2006
Estimated Study Completion Date: December 2014
Primary Completion Date: September 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Arm 1 Behavioral: Exercise
Treadmill exercise

Detailed Description:

Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system, which can cause episodic, static or progressive disability. Frequently, MS causes weakness and spasticity of the legs leading to gait abnormalities and immobility. Rehabilitation has been widely used in MS but has been the subject of limited investigation. In particular, traditional thinking in MS providers was that aerobic exercise could cause worsening of symptoms in some patients and should generally be avoided. Recent studies suggest that both aerobic exercise is tolerated by most patients and improves fitness. In a recent study however, training with bicycle ergometers did not translate into improved biomechanics of gait. This suggests that aerobic training may need to be coupled to task specific training to produce improved gait. With recent changes in medical care focusing on cost containment, studies supporting the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of rehabilitation interventions are needed.

Studies from the stroke literature suggest that task specific training may be useful in promoting motor reorganization in the cortex, reversing muscle wasting and improving cardiovascular de-conditioning. In particular, we have examined the use of treadmill training in patients with chronic hemiparesis due to stroke and have found that a course of training can improve walking ability, can cause an increase in motor representation of the effected limb as measured by fMRI, can increase muscle mass as measured by thigh CT and muscle biopsy, and can improve cardiovascular fitness as measured by treadmill stress testing.

Proposed is a pilot study testing a program of treadmill training in patients with chronic leg weakness and spasticity due to MS causing chronic gait problems. The primary objectives of this pilot study are to demonstrate the safety and tolerability of the treadmill training program in MS patients and to obtain preliminary data on outcomes to use to determine the sample size for a larger trial designed to document efficacy and cost-effectiveness. Forty MS patients with impaired ambulation will be randomized to a 3 month program of treadmill training or a 3 month education and counseling program with attention equal to the treadmill trained group. Both groups will be followed for a total of 6 months. The treadmill training will be carried out in the Senior Exercise Research Center at the Baltimore VAMC. Outcome measures will include measures of leg strength and spasticity, disability (EDSS), walking ability, cardiovascular fitness, Quality of Life, depression, and healthcare costs and utilization (compared to the year prior to enrollment). The results of this pilot study will be used to design and gain support for a study sized to measure efficacy and cost effectiveness.


Ages Eligible for Study:   Child, Adult, Senior
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Chronic definite multiple sclerosis
  • Visible paraparetic gait deficits
  • EDSS 4 to 6.5
  • Last 12 months of care in VHS
  • Competent to provide consent and carry out study procedures
  • Pass the Functional Mobility Entry Test

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Performing 20 minutes or more of aerobic exercise 3X per week
  • Alcohol consumption over 2 oz liquor, 8 oz wine, 24 oz beer per day
  • Cardiac history
  • Significant medical history
  • Significant neurological history
  • Relapsing MS
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00334100

United States, Maryland
VA Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore
Baltimore, Maryland, United States, 21201
Sponsors and Collaborators
VA Office of Research and Development
Principal Investigator: Christopher Bever, MD VA Maryland Health Care System, Baltimore
  More Information

Responsible Party: VA Office of Research and Development Identifier: NCT00334100     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: B3603-P
B3603-P ( Other Grant/Funding Number: Department of Veterans Affairs )
Study First Received: June 2, 2006
Last Updated: October 7, 2014

Keywords provided by VA Office of Research and Development:
multiple sclerosis

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Multiple Sclerosis
Pathologic Processes
Demyelinating Autoimmune Diseases, CNS
Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System
Nervous System Diseases
Demyelinating Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Immune System Diseases processed this record on March 29, 2017