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Physical, Cognitive Functions in Elderly with MS

J Geriatr Phys Ther; ePub 2017 Dec 1; Bollaert, Motl

A recent study points to evidence of reduced function in older adults with multiple sclerosis (MS), and this might be partially managed by behavioral interventions that target physical activity and sedentary behavior for the promotion of healthy aging in this population. Participants initially underwent the cognitive assessments, followed by the physical function assessments. They were then instructed to wear an accelerometer and document wear time in a log book for a 7-day period after the testing session. Researchers found:

  • Older adults with MS (n=40) performed worse on all measures of physical function, and 1 measure of cognitive function (ie, information-processing speed), compared with healthy controls (n=40).
  • Older adults with MS engaged in less moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, more sedentary behavior, and longer duration of long sedentary bouts than healthy controls.
  • Levels and patterns of physical activity were significantly associated with a majority of physical function variables but not cognitive function variables in both older adults with MS and healthy controls but to a greater extent in older adults with MS.


Bollaert RA, Motl RW. Physical and cognitive functions, physical activity, and sedentary behavior in older adults with multiple sclerosis. [Published online ahead of print December 1, 2017]. J Geriatr Phys Ther. doi:10.1519/JPT.0000000000000163.