Although the exact number of people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in America is not known, there are estimated to be 2.3 million people affected worldwide.  MS is a varied condition that affects the brain and/or spinal cord.  It can cause a wide range of symptoms including difficulties with the movement of limbs, changes in vision, and problems with balance and sensation.  Although there is no cure, scientists have demonstrated that, for individuals with mild to moderate disability, exercise can improve the severity of certain symptoms.  Exercise has been shown to increase muscular strength and aerobic capacity and improve the individual’s sense of wellness.
Additionally, there is some evidence that exercise might help slow the progression of MS, although the data is conflicting.  How exercise reduces the symptoms of MS is not known, but researchers believe that it could be due to the modulation of immune factors or stress hormones, or perhaps by altering the expression of neuronal growth factors.

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