Waschbisch A et al. Physical Activity in Multiple Sclerosis: A Comparative Study of Vitamin D, Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor and Regulatory T Cell Populations. Eur Neurol. 2012;68:122-128. [Epub ahead of print
Background: Previous studies suggest beneficial effects of exercise in multiple sclerosis (MS). However, knowledge on the effects of physical activity on the immune system is limited.
Objective: To assess potential relationships between cardiorespiratory fitness, cognitive function, and immune parameters in physically active and inactive MS patients.
Methods: We identified 83 patients with relapsing-remitting disease, an unrestricted walking range, and stable interferon-β treatment from our data base. Based on the subjective report of physical activity, the lower/inactive (n = 21) and upper/active quartiles (n = 21) of patients were selected. We assessed the frequency of T cells, B cells, NK cells, monocytes and regulatory T cell populations by flow cytometry, measured brain-derived neurotrophic factor and vitamin D serum levels by ELISA, and conducted spiroergometry and transcranial sonography.
Results: Physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness were not associated with brain-derived neurotrophic factor, frequency of T regulatory cells or any other immune cell subpopulation. However, we found a positive correlation of vitamin D serum levels with cardiorespiratory fitness.
Conclusion: Overall, we found no negative effect of physical activity on the immune system. The association between vitamin D and cardiorespiratory fitness most likely reflects longer hours of sunlight exposure in active patients, suggesting a desirable ‘side- effect’ of physical activity.
This study found nothing worth reporting and this includes BDNF