Using wearable robots to improve fitness in MS

Person exercising using an exoskeleton

Lead researcher: Dr Krishnan Padmakumari Sivaraman Nair

Based at: Royal Hallamshire Hospital

Our funding: £39,969

Status: Active

About the project

Research suggests people with MS should do moderate exercise for 30 minutes three times a day. To get the benefit from exercise, your heart rate should increase to a level called target heart rate. People with advanced MS often have difficulty doing enough exercise to increase their heart rate to this level.

Powered exoskeletons are wearable robots that help people with weakness in their legs to stand and walk. Researchers will investigate whether using an exoskeleton could help people with MS to exercise in a way that raises their heart rate sufficiently. They'll also ask whether people with MS find this an acceptable way of doing exercise. They'll compare the effects of using the exoskeleton to exercising with a fitness instructor.

How will it help people with MS?

Lack of exercise can cause conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity and depression. So we need to find a way to make it easier for people with advanced MS to take part in physical activity. If this study is successful, it could make it easier for everyone with MS to exercise.

The difference you can make

You can help us to fund innovative projects like this, which could help everyone with MS to take part in physical activity.
 

The next research breakthrough is in reach

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£30could process one blood sample, giving researchers crucial information about genes and the immune system.

£50could pay for an hour on a microscope, so scientists can study cells and tissue in greater detail and improve their understanding of the biology of MS.

£100could pay for half an hour of MRI use, so researchers can monitor the success of clinical trials and understand MS in more detail.

Every penny you give really does take us a step closer to stopping MS. Your donation will make a difference.

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£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics

£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks

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MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette