Exercise can’t be associated with reduced risk

Dorans KS, Massa J, Chitnis T, Ascherio A, Munger KL.Physical activity and the incidence of multiple sclerosis. Neurology. 2016 Sep 28. pii: 10.1212/WNL.0000000000003260. [Epub ahead of print]

OBJECTIVE:To study whether physical activity during adulthood or early life is associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) incidence in 2 prospective cohorts of women.
METHODS:Women in the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS) (n = 81,723; 1986-2004) and NHS II (n = 111,804; 1989-2009) reported recent physical activity at baseline and in selected follow-up questionnaires. Using this information, we calculated total metabolic equivalent hours of physical activity per week, a measure of energy expenditure. There were 341 confirmed MS cases with first symptoms after baseline. Participants also reported early-life activity. To estimate relative rates (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs), we used Cox proportional hazards models, adjusting for age, latitude of residence at age 15, ethnicity, smoking, supplemental vitamin D, and body mass index at age 18.
RESULTS:Compared with women in the lowest baseline physical activity quartile, women in the highest quartile had a 27% reduced rate of MS (RRpooled = 0.73, 95% CI 0.55-0.98; p-trend 0.08); this trend was not present in 6-year lagged analyses. Change in physical activity analyses suggested that women reduced activity before onset of MS symptoms. In NHS and NHS II, higher strenuous activity at ages 18-22 years was weakly associated with a decreased MS rate. However, in NHS II, total early-life activity at ages 12-22 was not associated with MS.
CONCLUSIONS:Though higher physical activity at baseline was weakly associated with lower MS risk, this may have been due to women reducing physical activity in response to subclinical MS

Exercise is good for health, but does it affect MS?

There have been loads of posts on this and in this study just fails impress that exercise has an effect.

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  • I was reading just a week or two ago that 'Running could revitalise brain and prevent MS'. Mice study published in Cell Reports, author Dr D Picketts.

  • Could it not be that those who exercise have more reserve physical capacity (stronger muscles etc) and so they may seem to progress at the same rate but because it's just that they fitter in the first place before MS robs them of one thing after another?

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