J Altern Complement Med 2014 May 29;20(5):347-55. Epub 2014 Jan 29.
1 Department of Health and Human Physiology, University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences , University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA.
Background: Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease influenced by environmental factors.
Objectives: The feasibility of a multimodal intervention and its effect on perceived fatigue in patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis were assessed.
Design/setting: This was a single-arm, open-label intervention study in an outpatient setting.
Interventions: A multimodal intervention including a modified paleolithic diet with supplements, stretching, strengthening exercises with electrical stimulation of trunk and lower limb muscles, meditation, and massage was used.
Outcome Measures: Adherence to each component of the intervention was calculated using daily logs. Side-effects were assessed from a monthly questionnaire and blood analyses. Fatigue was assessed using the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS). Data were collected at baseline and months 1, 2, 3, 6, 9, and 12.
Results: Ten (10) of 13 subjects who were enrolled in a 2-week run-in phase were eligible to continue in the 12-month main study. Of those 10 subjects, 8 completed the study and 6 subjects fully adhered to the study intervention for 12 months. Over a 12-month period, average adherence to diet exceeded 90% of days, and to exercise/muscle stimulation exceeded 75% of days. Nutritional supplements intake varied among and within subjects. Group daily average duration of meditation was 13.3 minutes and of massage was 7.2 minutes. No adverse side-effects were reported. Group average FSS scores decreased from 5.7 at baseline to 3.32 (p=0.0008) at 12 months.
Conclusions: In this small, uncontrolled pilot study, there was a significant improvement in fatigue in those who completed the study. Given the small sample size and completer rate, further evaluation of this multimodal therapy is warranted.