The purpose of this study was to investigate the ffects of endurance training in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients complaining of motor fatigue. Thirty MS patients complaining of fatigue with low to moderate disabilities randomly allocated to the intervention (thrice weekly 45-min intervals of endurance exercise) or control treatment (three 45-min episodes of stretching, balance training and coordination), both as ‘add-on’ therapy for 3 weeks during inpatient rehabilitation. Maximal walking distance before intervention averaged 1043 +/- 568 and 1163 +/- 750 m in the two groups. The intervention group increased its maximal walking distance by 650 +/- 474 m. The control group extended its walking distance by 96 +/- 70 m.
The present data confirm a strong effect of endurance exercise on maximal walking distance. Remarkably, there were no parallel improvements on the Modified Fatigue Impact Scale, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Hamburg Quality of Life Questionnaire for MS.