CSUN professor receives money to study multiple sclerosis

Dr. Taeyou Jung assists a patient with a neurological disorder to workout by using a special machine which allows arms and legs to move passively. Jung said he hopes to find a connection between cardiovascular exercise and cognitive function in people suffering from neurological disorders. Photo Credit: Christiaan Patterson / Staff Reporter

CSUN’s Dr. Taeyou Jung, Department of Kinesiology, received a $28,899 grant from UCLA to collaborate on a project for people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS).
The project titled “The Effects of Cardiovascular Exercise on Cognitive Function in People with Multiple Sclerosis” is attempting to discover if cardiovascular exercise could slow the progression of MS and improve neurological function.
Patients attend the Brown Center for therapeutic exercise and assistance with the disease.
UCLA contacted Jung in a collaborative effort and the need for patients to participate in the study.
“Usually an organization has to submit a proposal to receive funding. Not in this case. They contacted me,” Jung said.
At UCLA, the medical center can research and analyze the brain from a doctor’s perspective, not from what happens inside when exercise is added. Medical personnel are interested in how exercise affects the brain of people with MS and other neurological disorders, he added.
According to the U.S. National Institute of Health, MS is a disease that affects the central nervous system and brain.  The disease damages the outer layer of nerve cells and eventually slows or stops all function.
The Institute of Health claims there is no cure for MS. Doctors are not certain what causes MS. Some ideas involve environmental factors, genetic history or a virus that attacks nerve cells. MS is more common in women than men and usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 40; however, a person can develop it at any age.
“We have to ask if certain exercises have positive effects on the brain,” Jung said. “Participants will get health fitness benefits as well as contributing to a body of knowledge on treatment for MS.”
One critical reason UCLA contacted Jung is, CSUN has one of the top rated university based exercise rehabilitation centers in the nation.
Jung said the study consists of two groups: a control group and a treatment group with 10 to 12 people in both. It’s a two to three year study, with each set of groups being treated three times per week for six months. At the end of three years, Jung and UCLA hope to solve the long awaited question: Will exercise slow down memory loss in MS patients?
Patients can access the Brown Center more easily than traveling to UCLA, and it doesn’t require a therapeutic exercise program being built at the UC. While there, patients can exercise with trained students, both graduates and undergraduates, on customized equipment such as a seated stepper and elliptical in reclined or sitting positions.
The therapeutic program combines efforts of staff and students in the kinesiology department. There are 10 to 15 graduate students and 200 undergraduates in the center, Jung said. Their assistance is required for research, implementation of clinical exercise protocol for patients and the creation of progress reports.
“These students are inspiring,” Jung said. “We get outside visitors and they are amazed at the quality of passion in them. Passion and having the right heart, is what I look for when I recruit students (to the program).”
Jung and UCLA are currently searching for volunteers with MS between the ages of 18 and 60 to participate in the study.
For further information on how to get involved, contact Elise Herlihy at 310-267-4077.

  • Stephen Liebes

    There have been a plethora of treatments utiolizing CCSVI world wide (originally done by Dr. Zamboni) from Italy and after much research I am willing to risk the procedure. I’ve had Multiple Sclerosis for thity-two years and am having my apppointment on March 8, 2011 to hopefully set the date for my procedure.

    To learn more about this procedure look it up on U-Tube. Hours of great testimony. I know that it’s all discresionary findings on what’s shown, but I’m sold. This will be done under the auspices of treating clogged arteries as there is NO guraanteed cure for MS. I should know after dealing with it for all these years under the care of a phenomenal neurologist for the past twenty-three years when I was at the relapsing remitting stage. Now I’m secondary progressive and wheel chair bound. It’s that or fall.

  • LaFemmeMSketeer

    They might find a cardiovascuar connection to MS but I bet it shows impaired cognitive function during exercise because of CCSVI. (Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency CCSVI.org) Hypoxia from inadequate venous drainage from brain and spine. Exercise will increase hypoxia and increase cog fog..

    Stanford has lots of data on this phenomenon. They are doing a very detailed clinical trial of CCSVI in MS in the department of cardiothoracic surgery, just starting. Angioplasty of compressed jugular and azygos veins is being tested in an IRB approved clinical trial.