ALS and physical activity

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There are no recommendations for physical activity in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is a little odd because the most striking feature of ALS is muscle wasting.

An immobilized person loses muscle in a few weeks and needs months or years to recover. If you add to muscle wasting, the fact that most ALS patients need far more calories than they are fed and can ingest, inactivity and inadequate diet are a recipe for disaster.

It is not necessary to invoke complex molecular events to understand why ALS leads to death within a few years.

Polish scientists therefore studied the relationship between physical activity and the rate of functional decline,

They assessed 96 ALS patients for 6 months at 3-month intervals for site of disease onset, disease duration, delay in diagnosis, functional status, muscle strength, fatigue, and prevalence. physical activity.

They found that 70% of patients engaged in regular physical activity and reported a positive effect of physical activity on functional status and mood. Individuals who exercised regularly showed a higher bulbar ALSFRS-R score and a smaller decline in ALSFRS-R respiratory subscore compared to patients who did not exercise regularly.

Counterintuitively, they found bulbar onset to be a negative prognostic factor for regular exercise.

The authors concluded that regular light physical activity may lead to a slower deterioration in functional status, particularly respiratory function.

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This book retraces the main achievements of ALS research over the last 30 years, presents the drugs under clinical trial, as well as ongoing research on future treatments likely to be able stop the disease in a few years and to provide a complete cure in a decade or two.

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