How do physical capacity, fatigue and performance differ in children with duchenne muscular dystrophy compared with their healthy peers?

Neurosciences (Riyadh). 2018 Jan;23(1):39-45. doi: 10.17712/nsj.2018.1.20170242.


Objective: To compare the fatigue levels and energy expenditure of children with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) at different functional levels with healthy children.

Methods: The cross-sectional study was carried out in the Unit of Pediatric Neuromuscular Diseases in the Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Science, Hacettepe University between March 2015 and January 2016. Fifty two children diagnosed with DMD in Level I-III according to the Brooke Functional Classification Scale and 17 healthy children were included in the study. The Six Minute Walk Test (6MWT), Northstar Ambulatory Assessment Scale (NSAA), Physiological Cost Index (PCI), and Timed performance tests were used to assess the children.

Results: Comparison in terms of PCI indicated a difference between Levels 2 and 3, and Levels 1 and 3 (p<0.0083). A difference was found in ascending and descending 4 stairs after 6MWT when fatigue after activity was evaluated.

Conclusion: The walking distances, fatigue levels and energy expenditure of DMD patients were higher than the healthy peers. This difference was more prominent with decreasing functional level.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Energy Metabolism
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue
  • Muscular Dystrophy, Duchenne / physiopathology*
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Stair Climbing