What is the efficacy of home-based exercise treatment programs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)?

Updated: Jan 02, 2020
  • Author: Divakara Kedlaya, MBBS; Chief Editor: Ryan O Stephenson, DO  more...
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Answer

Answer

A study by Kitano et al indicated that a structured, unsupervised, home-based exercise program can prove effective in patients with early stage ALS. The investigators found that individuals who participated in the 6-month program, which included muscle stretching, as well as muscle and functional training, achieved a significantly higher total score and respiratory function subscore on the ALSFRS-R than did patients who underwent a 6-month program supervised by a physical therapist. [14]

However, a Canadian survey by Jones et al found that among physicians in academic ALS clinics, 31% cited lack of confidence or competence as a barrier to prescribing exercise for patients with ALS, while 22% cited lack of evidence regarding the benefit of exercise, and another 22% cited lack of infrastructure. [15]


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