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Problems with multitasking are very common for people with multiple sclerosis and can lead to falls, decreased physical activity, and quality of life. The MCRL researches ways to help these issues.
We studied participants with Multiple Sclerosis to determine if multitasking effects walking.
- Participants came to Freer Hall for an assessment looking at vision, balance, body awareness and fall risk.
- Then, they were randomized into one of the following groups: Traditional Exercise Group or Dual Exercise Group.
- The Traditional Exercise Group came to the University of Illinois’ campus twice a week for twelve weeks and do exercises tailored to them. For example, they did several exercises like calf raises.
- The Dual Exercise Group did the same things as the traditional group, but they also did a mental task as well. For example, while doing calf raises, they counted backwards from 20.
- Both exercise groups walked for 10-20 minuets after the balance exercises.
The study was done with 14 people. We found that the training method was feasible. The method of exercising while thinking shows promise at improving walking while distracted.