STUDY: Cooling vests help MSers walk farther, longer

Effects of a cooling vest with sham condition on walking capacity in heat-sensitive people with Multiple Sclerosis


European Journal of Applied Physiology (2020)

Abstract

Purpose
Heat sensitivity is a common contraindication in people with Multiple Sclerosis (pwMS), and physical fatigue is one of the most frequently reported symptoms that can affect quality of life. Increases in body temperature may exacerbate fatigue and heat-related symptoms. Decreasing body temperature via cooling devices may mitigate disease symptoms and improve physical abilities and quality of life. This study evaluates the effects of a cooling vest with sham condition on walking capacity using a commercially-available cooling vest specifically designed for pwMS.

Methods
A counter-balanced, cross-over design was used to assess the effects of a cooling vest (CryoVest Comfort, CryoInnov, France) (COLD) from a menthol-induced sham condition (CON) on ground walking time to exhaustion (Tex, s) and distance at exhaustion (Dex, m) in ambulatory pwMS. Secondary outcomes were heart rate (HR, bpm), thermal sensation (Tsens), skin chest (Tchest) and back (Tback) temperature.

Results
Ten females with Multiple Sclerosis (59 ± 9 years, EDSS 3.0–5.5) participated to the study. During COLD, pwMS walked significantly longer (1896 ± 602 vs. 1399 ± 404 s, p < 0.001) and farther (1879 ± 539 vs. 1302 ± 318 m, p < 0.001) than CON. Importantly, Tsens and HR at exhaustion were not significantly different between conditions, although Tchest (− 2.7 ± 1.8 °C, p < 0.01) and Tback (− 3.9 ± 1.8 °C, p < 0.001) were lower at volitional fatigue during COLD.

Conclusion
The lightweight cooling vest improved total walking time and distance in heat-sensitive pwMS. These physiological improvements were likely due to feeling perceptually cooler in the COLD trial, compared to the corresponding point of fatigue in the CON condition.


Thank you to Dave Bexfield of ActiveMSers for bringing this study to our attention. The ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest is the perfect thing to help keep you over heating and fatigue symptoms at bay. ...Wait a minute, how does a cooling vest help my fatigue levels? Most of us don't put 2 and 2 together when thinking of all the benefits a cooling vest provides. When your body temperature increases your body works harder to cool you down, expending energy and increasing your fatigue.

You don't have to have MS to experience these symptoms. For example... In our office, Julia has a hard time regulating her body temperature due to her BRCA2. If she walks on the treadmill for 30 min without her ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest she will overheat to the point that she can feel the heat coming off of her in waves, is nauseous and is not only experiencing fatigue but is exhausted. The exhaustion will last 24 hours or more. When she does wear her ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest she can walk on the treadmill for 60-90 min without overheating and without experiencing fatigue and is not exhausted for 24 hours and this is a bonus for everyone in the office. lol. She can get a full days worth of work done and is not irritable from her fatigue level.

ActiveMSers have an awesome guide on cooling vests. Our ThermApparel UnderCool Cooling Vest is one of ActiveMSers top picks!

Of course we want you to purchase our vest!! But, our vest might not be right for your situation so read the guide and find the right cooling vest for you. 

 


From our humble origins we have been striving to help people live active, comfortable, and safe lives. In a time like this we all need more help.

Stay safe, stay healthy, stay happy.
Julia, Kurtis, Brad



T
hermApparel is a small business making big waves in the heat sensitivity world by designing the first lightweight, comfortable and invisible cooling vest, UnderCool.  Check us out online, on our blog, or on FacebookTwitter, PinterestLinkedIn and Instagram.

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