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Healthy Aging through LifesTyle in Multiple Sclerosis – Exercise Trial (HALT MS – Exercise Trial)

a group of seniors walking outside

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system that is markedly increasing in prevalence amongst adults aged 50 years or older. This population may present with co-occurring cognitive impairment and physical dysfunction, which is further associated with fatigue, depression, reduced physical activity participation and reduced quality of life. Exercise training has been recognized as a promising approach for improving health and fitness in people with MS.

The HALT MS – Exercise Trial examines the feasibility and efficacy of a 16-week remotely delivered, exercise training program for adults (50+ years of age) with MS who have cognitive and walking impairment. We believe this targeted, evidence-based exercise program will produce improvements in cognition, mobility, physical activity and quality of life among adults with MS.

  • Promote Physical Activity

  • Improve Cognition & Physical Function

  • Enhance Health and Wellness

About the study Heading link

The HALT MS – Exercise Trial consists of two different home-based exercise training programs completed three days per week for 16-weeks.

  • One exercise program will consist of both aerobic and resistance training exercises, while the other program will focus on stretching and flexibility as an important part of fitness. Both programs are designed specifically for adults (50+ years of age) with MS and will be adjusted and personalized based on your needs, capabilities, and experiences.
  • Participants who are eligible will be randomly assigned to one of two exercise programs.
  • We will provide the equipment and materials for completing the programs (i.e., yoga mats or resistance bands, training manual, calendar, logbook). Participants can keep these materials after the study ends.

Participants will receive $375 in compensation for completing the HALT MS – Exercise Trial.

Sign up to participate

radius of 100 miles map

We are currently enrolling participants living within 200 miles of Chicago (Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, and Michigan) or those who are willing/able to visit our laboratory for a series of assessments!

Team Heading link

Peixuan Zheng

Principal Investigator

Peixuan Zheng is the principal investigator and serves as the Behavioral Coach for the HALT MS – Exercise Trial. This program was developed from over 15 years of research on the benefits of exercise for people living with MS. This includes developing an evidence-based exercise prescription and then identifying methods for supporting the adoption and maintenance of these exercise behaviors over time. Peixuan has conducted experimental studies to investigate how physical activity is associated with cognition and vascular health in the middle-aged and older adult populations. Peixuan is passionate about implementing lifestyle interventions to help improve health and quality of life as well as manage the consequences of aging and MS.

Robert Motl

Faculty mentor and Co-Investigator

Jennifer Duffecy


Shane Phillips


Contact us Heading link

Peixuan Zheng, Principal Investigator

1919 W. Taylor St., 545 AHSB, (MC 517), Chicago, IL 60612