Physical therapy in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy: dynamics of the course of the disease

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most severe and common form among childhood muscular dystrophies, characterized by a progressive course. One of the main measures to slow down the rate of progression of the disease is physiotherapy, but now there are no recommendations to identify the optimal motor regimen, which is effective and safe for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

AIM: The aim of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of regular dynamic aerobic exercise in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy who are capable of independent movement.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: We examined 15 patients with genetically confirmed Duchenne muscular dystrophy aged 4,9 to 9,0 years (mean age 6,9 years) who did not participate in rehabilitation programs with exercise therapy for >6 months prior to inclusion in the study. All patients underwent a course of physical therapy, the duration of the course was 4 months, the course was divided into 2 stages: preparatory stage (individual cardiac functional reserve 51–60% with the number of repetitions of each exercise 6–8 times) and training stage (individual cardiac functional reserve 61–70% with the number of repetitions each exercise 10–12 times) The duration of the training was 60 minutes. At the baseline and during dynamic observation after 2 and 4 months, the following were evaluated: 6-minute walk test, timed function test (time to stand from supine, running 10 m, time to climb and descent 4 stairs).

RESULTS: Statistically significant positive dynamics was revealed: the average values of the distance of the 6-minute walk at the baseline were 478,2 ± 10,1 m, then 489,5 ± 11,4 m (p < 0.05) after 2 months and 502,6 ± 10,7 m (p < 0.005) after 4 months. The average values of the time to stand from supine at the baseline was 3,7 ± 0,2 sec., after 2 months — 3,5 ± 0,2 sec. (p < 0.08), after 4 months — 3,5 ± 0,2 sec. (p < 0.05). Mean values of time to run 10 m at baseline 4,3 ± 0,1 sec., after 2 months — 4,1 ± 0,2 sec. (p < 0,05), and after 4 months — 4,1 ± 0,1 sec. (p < 0.005).

CONCLUSIONS: Thus, the regular performance of aerobic physical therapy exercises without weights in combination with training on an exercise bike can increase endurance and speed in ambulant patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

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About the authors

Vasiliy M. Suslov

St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University

Author for correspondence.
Email: vms.92@mail.ru

MD, PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation AF and DPO

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Larisa N. Lieberman

St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University

Email: lalieber74@gmail.com

Assistant Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation AF and DPO

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Galina A. Suslova

St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University

Email: docgas@mail.ru

MD, PhD, Dr. Med. Sci., Professor, Head of the Department of Rehabilitation AF and DPO

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Natalia P. Bure

St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University

Email: aquamagicnb@gmail.com

MD, PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation AF and DPO

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Elena I. Adulas

St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University

Email: helian@mail.ru

MD, PhD, Associate Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation AF and DPO

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

Dmitry I. Rudenko

St. Petersburg State Pediatric Medical University

Email: dmrud_h2@mail.ru

MD, PhD, Dr. Med. Sci., Assistant Professor of the Department of Rehabilitation AF and DPO

Russian Federation, Saint Petersburg

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Supplementary files

Supplementary Files
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1. Fig. 1. Dynamic of the 6 minute walking test. * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.005

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2. Fig. 2. The dynamics of the change in the time of the rising from the floor. * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.005

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3. Fig. 3. Dynamics in the time of the running 10 meters distance. * p < 0.05, ** p < 0.005

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4. Fig. 4. Dynamics of the time of the 4 steps climbing. * p < 0.05

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5. Fig. 5. Dynamics of the time of the 4 steps descend. * p < 0.05

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Copyright (c) 2022 Suslov V.M., Lieberman L.N., Suslova G.A., Bure N.P., Adulas E.I., Rudenko D.I.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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