Research into the benefits of Pilates is progressing, such that a recent article reported increased quality of life for people engaged in regular aerobic and Pilates exercises. What was even more interesting is that the study participants all had RR Multiple Sclerosis (Relapsing Remitting). If Pilates is beneficial to people with this chronic illnesses, imagine how it might benefit people of all walks of life!
The research study was reported in the Journal of Neuroimmunology and was titled “Combined Exercise Training Increases BDNF in Relapsing-Remitting MS (RRMS).” Now isn’t that a mouth full.
This research is looking at ways to improve life for people with RRMS, using natural strategies. In their study, the researchers wanted to know if people with RRMS would benefit from a combined aerobics and Pilates training program. One of the end points they measured was the hormone, Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF). This molecule is of interest because it’s hypothesized to play a role in the nerve-protective mechanisms of some MS therapies.
In the study, one group of RRMS patients completed a combined aerobic-Pilates exercise program. The control group did not engage in exercise. The results were positive – the BDNF levels increased in the combined aerobic-Pilates exercise group and did not change in the control group, strongly suggesting that the combined aerobic-Pilates program was an effective therapy. In terms of quality of life, it was exciting that there were significantly greater improvements at 8 weeks in balance, fatigue, and functional exercise capacity in the combined aerobic-Pilates versus the control group.
What does this research mean for people with RRMS? It suggests that “…combined exercise training consisting of Pilates and aerobic exercise can be applied safely in ambulatory patients with multiple sclerosis for achieving improvements in quality of life and possible protection against neurodegeneration.”
Summary article and reference
Ozkul C, Guclu-Gunduz A, Irkec C, et al. Effect of combined exercise training on serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor, suppressors of cytokine signaling 1 and 3 in patients with multiple sclerosis [published online January 3, 2018]. J Neuroimmunol. doi:10.1016/j.jneuroim.2018.01.002