OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

OSU researchers seek volunteers for MS study

08/04/1999

CORVALLIS - Researchers from Oregon State University are seeking persons with multiple sclerosis to volunteer for a study on muscle fatigue and dysfunction.

Also needed are persons without MS for a control group.

The research team will be led by Jeff Widrick, an assistant professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science, and Dena Garner, a doctoral student in the program. The researchers will conduct a muscular strength and physiology assessment of both groups of volunteers, then compare the results to see what physiological differences there are.

"This is a baseline study comparing the muscular function between people with multiple sclerosis and those without MS," Garner said. "People with MS have a lot of muscular weakness and fatigue. Our hope is to make these initial comparisons, and then build upon them in follow-up studies to see if exercise intervention can reduce that weakness and fatigue."

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that causes deterioration of the myelin sheath, which protects nerve fibers. The deterioration of the sheath results in the halting or slowing of nerve transmissions, creating symptoms ranging from slurred speech and visual problems to walking difficulties, muscular weakness and cognitive dysfunction.

The OSU researchers are seeking men and women between the ages 20 and 55, with all levels disability attributable to multiple sclerosis. Also needed are men and women of the same age without MS who are healthy, mostly sedentary in terms of exercise, and without any form of muscular disease.

All of the volunteers will be required to come to the OSU campus in Corvallis once for a muscular assessment.

For more information on the study, contact Dena Garner at 541-737-3402.