Walking Through MS

For people with MS, your support is a real game-changer.


Health experts agree, regular exercise can work wonders for our bodies and minds, improving mobility, lessening fatigue, and boosting mood. With a recent grant from the Dean Janeway Endowment Fund at New Jersey Health Foundation and support from donors like you, a new Kessler Foundation pilot study aims to determine whether home-based, aerobic walking exercise can reverse cognitive impairment caused by multiple sclerosis and deliver additional health benefits. Brian M. Sandroff, PhD, senior research scientist in the Center for Neuropsychology and Neuroscience Research, leads the investigation.

More than a decade of Kessler Foundation< exercise research drives this latest study.
More than a decade of Kessler Foundation exercise research drives this latest study.

This novel, randomized control trial builds on the Foundation’s 13 years of exercise research. Dr. Sandroff’s team will examine 12 months of home-based, remotely delivered and supported exercises, comparing high-frequency/high-intensity aerobic walking to mild-to-moderate walking that parallels the current standard-of-care exercise often prescribed for MS patients.

“I believe this study will provide meaningful insight into developing aerobic exercise guidelines for specifically managing MS-related cognitive impairment at home and in the community,” says Dr. Sandroff. “We are hopeful that this pilot study sets the stage for the broad-scale consideration of aerobic walking exercise training for restoring cognitive functioning not improved by MS disease-modifying drugs. It may also answer the often- asked question, ‘Does the amount or intensity of walking exercise matter?’”

If successful, this study may provide major benefits to individuals with MS. All participants should experience a general health boost, including improvements in fitness and mobility, along with a reduction in fatigue and depressive symptoms. Participants randomly assigned to the high-frequency/high-intensity group might realize additional gains in processing speed, brain volume and connectivity, and quality of life.

Your support helps sustain and expand the work of our scientists and the potential to positively impact the lives of people with MS.

Dr. Sandroff hopes this latest endeavor will lead to a large, federally funded, multi-site trial with participants from across the US.

“Thanks to the Dean Janeway Endowment Fund and donors like you, we’re able to take this first, all-important step in creating actual guidelines for aerobic walking that clinicians can prescribe to their MS patients across the globe.”