Impact of Lockdown during COVID-19 Pandemic on Central Activation, Muscle Activity, Contractile Function, and Spasticity in People with Multiple Sclerosis.
BioMed research international. 2021;:2624860
BACKGROUND People with multiple sclerosis (MS) suffer from symptoms related to neural control, such as reduced central activation, lower muscle activity, and accentuated spasticity. A forced 9-week home confinement related to COVID-19 in Spain may have worsened these symptoms. However, no study has demonstrated the impact of home confinement on neuromuscular mechanisms in the MS population. This study was aimed at analyzing the effects of a 9-week home confinement on central activation, muscle activity, contractile function, and spasticity in MS patients. METHODS Eighteen participants were enrolled in the study. Left and right knee extensor maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC), maximal neural drive via peak surface electromyography (EMG) of the vastus lateralis, central activation ratio (CAR), and muscle contractile function via electrical stimulation of the knee extensor muscles, as well as spasticity using the pendulum test, were measured immediately before and after home confinement. RESULTS Seventeen participants completed the study. CAR significantly decreased after lockdown (ES = 1.271, p < 0.001). Regarding spasticity, there was a trend to decrease in the number of oscillations (ES = 0.511, p = 0.059) and a significant decrease in the duration of oscillations (ES = 0.568, p = 0.038). Furthermore, in the left leg, there was a significant decrease in the first swing excursion (ES = 0.612, p = 0.027) and in the relaxation index (ES = 0.992, p = 0.001). Muscle contractile properties, MVIC, and EMG variables were not modified after confinement. CONCLUSIONS The results suggest that a home confinement period of 9 weeks may lead to an increase in lower limb spasticity and a greater deficit in voluntary activation of the knee extensors.
Lifestyle, Exercise and Activity Package for People living with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis (LEAP-MS): adaptions during the COVID-19 pandemic and remote delivery for improved efficiency.
The LEAP-MS (Lifestyle, Exercise and Activity Package for People living with Progressive Multiple Sclerosis) study has developed an individualised supported self-management approach for physical activity for people with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) and severe disability. The intervention has been evaluated in a single-arm feasibility study with embedded process evaluation. The feasibility study was due to open to recruitment during the COVID-19 2020-2021 pandemic, 1 month into the first UK-wide lockdown. We worked rapidly to implement adaptions to the trial procedures and intervention delivery that we believe are applicable to randomised controlled trials. Recruitment became predominantly via self-referral. Electronic consent was employed, with consent discussions occurring over the telephone. Registration, consent, eligibility assessment and data collection as well as the intervention (online physical activity tool) were via a secure, encrypted multi-user web-based platform for participants, physiotherapists and researchers accessible via various hardware. Physiotherapy consultations, as well as the process evaluation, were conducted remotely using video conferencing software or the telephone. A remote training package for physiotherapists and site initiations was also developed and electronic site files employed. Our adaptions are extremely topical given the COVID-19 situation, and whilst not what we had originally planned, have enabled successful delivery of the feasibility study and are relevant to conducting randomised controlled trials and meeting the needs of people with MS who are far more isolated than ever before. TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03951181 . Registered on 15 May 2019.