Background and Purpose A pilot study to determine feasibility of detecting changes in structural connectivity (SC) and resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) occur alongside motor improvements after participation in the Targeted Ballet Program (TBP) in adults with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).Methods Five participants (four female) with RRMS between the ages of 38-64 with the following characteristics at baseline: Expanded Disability Status Scale 2.0-6.0, International Cooperative Ataxia Rating Scale (ICARS) gt; 7, Symbol-Digit Modality Test gt; 22, and no relapses or initiation of medications indicated to affect mobility within the past 30 days. Participants were asked to complete 12 weeks (one hour, twice per week) of the TBP. Magnetic resonance imaging data was collected pre- and post-intervention for SC and RSFC network analysis.Results Increases in two RRMS-related graph theoretical measures (mean strength and mean clustering coefficient) for RSFC (p lt; 0.05) are detectable alongside significant reduction in ataxia (ICARS: p = 0.01012, Smoothness Index: p = 0.04995), and increase in balance (Mini-BESTest: p = 0.01474) following participation in the well-tolerated TBP.Discussion and Conclusions Significant increases in mean strength and mean clustering coefficient of RSFC suggest functional neurological improvements after participation in the TBP. The relationship between these network changes and clinical improvements in balance and amelioration of ataxia after participation in the TBP requires a larger randomized-controlled clinical trial of the TBP in persons with RRMS.Competing Interest StatementThe authors have declared no competing interest.Clinical TrialNCT04073940Clinical Protocols https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04073940 Funding StatementFunding for imaging data collection was provided by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation through the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and TechnologyAuthor DeclarationsI confirm all relevant ethical guidelines have been followed, and any necessary IRB and/or ethics committee approvals have been obtained.YesThe details of the IRB/oversight body that provided approval or exemption for the research described are given below:IRB approval was obtained on June 6th of 2018 through the University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignAll necessary patient/participant consent has been obtained and the appropriate institutional forms have been archived.YesI understand that all clinical trials and any other prospective interventional studies must be registered with an ICMJE-approved registry, such as ClinicalTrials.gov. I confirm that any such study reported in the manuscript has been registered and the trial registration ID is provided (note: if posting a prospective study registered retrospectively, please provide a statement in the trial ID field explaining why the study was not registered in advance).YesI have followed all appropriate research reporting guidelines and uploaded the relevant EQUATOR Network research reporting checklist(s) and other pertinent material as supplementary files, if applicable.YesData related to this study is available upon request to the authors
Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Number of pages22
StateIn preparation - 2021

Publication series

PublisherCold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press


  • COVID-19
  • Novel coronavirus
  • severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)
  • Coronavirus
  • 2019-nCoV
  • Pandemic


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