Introduction: Preliminary evidence in adults with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and in SMA animal models suggests exercise has potential benefits in improving or stabilizing muscle strength and motor function.
Methods: We evaluated feasibility, safety, and effects on strength and motor function of a home-based, supervised progressive resistance strength training exercise program in children with SMA types II and III. Up to 14 bilateral proximal muscles were exercised 3 times weekly for 12 weeks.
Results: Nine children with SMA, aged 10.4 ± 3.8 years, completed the resistance training exercise program. Ninety percent of visits occurred per protocol. Training sessions were pain-free (99.8%), and no study-related adverse events occurred. Trends in improved strength and motor function were observed.
Conclusions: A 12-week supervised, home-based, 3-day/week progressive resistance training exercise program is feasible, safe, and well tolerated in children with SMA. These findings can inform future studies of exercise in SMA.
Keywords: home-based exercise program; neuromuscular disorder; progressive resistance training exercise; spinal muscular atrophy; strength training exercise.
© 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.