The effects of exercise on plasma neurofilament light chain and kynurenine pathways in multiple sclerosis


  • Acute exercise reduces plasma neurofilament light chain (pNfL) levels potentially alleviating the ongoing neurodegeneration in multiple sclerosis (MS), with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) leading to greater responses compared with moderate continuous training (MCT).

Why this matters

  • Higher levels of pNfL, a peripheral blood biomarker of neurodegeneration, are associated with neuroinflammation and disability progression in persons with MS (pwMS).

  • Recent evidence suggests that pNfL levels are positively associated with the kynurenine (KYN) pathway which is also involved in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration, and is deregulated in pwMS.

  • It is known that physical exercise has a positive effect on MS symptoms but more research is needed into its disease-modifying effects to enable the development of targeted exercise recommendations for pwMS.