MS-EPOXI: Effects of altitude training on immune function and energy metabolism in multiple sclerosis patients

Study Description:
In a joint study with Experimental & Clinical Research Center (ECRC) at Campus Buch, we investigated the effects of simulated altitude (2500 m above sea level) on energy metabolism and physical fitness at rest and during moderate physical activity.

We were especially interested in the effects of reduced oxygen content in the air (hypoxia) on immune function and important metabolic processes. To test this, we asked participans to spend 3 times/week each 1 h over 4 weeks in our altitude chamber, in which the oxygen concentration could be changed from 21% to 15% (comparable to the air in an aircraft). During this time, participans did either only stay in the chamber or do moderate treadmill Training.

Before and after this 4 week program, we investigated the energy metabolism at rest and during moderate physical activity and assessed immune functions critical for MS disease course.

Men and women with relapsing remitting MS who were ambulatory, between 20 and 60 years of age, and without any other clinically relevant comorbidity did participate.

Principle Investigators: Prof. Dr. F. Paul (NCRC), Dr. M. Boschmann (ECRC)