Strength training in patients with myotonic dystrophy and hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy: a randomized clinical trial

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1995 Jul;76(7):612-20. doi: 10.1016/s0003-9993(95)80629-6.


A randomized clinical trial on the effects of strength training was performed in myotonic dystrophy (MyD) patients and patients with hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy (HMSN). Training and most measurement tools involved the proximal lower extremity muscles. The participants trained 3 times a week for 24 weeks with weights adapted to their force. Strength was evaluated by isokinetically measured knee torque. Fatiguability was assessed by the time an isometric contraction could be sustained. Functional performance was measured by timed motor performance and by questionnaires on functional performance. Serum myoglobin (Mb) levels were determined to detect changes in muscle fiber membrane permeability. The MyD group included 33 participants, and the HMSN group included 29 participants. Within each diagnostic group, patients were individually matched and subsequently randomized for treatment allocation. In the MyD patients, none of the measurement techniques showed any training effect. Neither were there signs of deterioration caused by the training. In the HMSN group, knee torques increased. Timed motor performance did not change, although the questionnaires showed an improvement on items related to upper-leg function. Mb levels did not change significantly as a result of the training. In conclusion, the MyD group showed neither positive nor negative effects of the training protocol, whereas the training produced a moderate increase in strength and leg-related functional performance in the HMSN group.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Exercise Therapy
  • Female
  • Hereditary Sensory and Motor Neuropathy / physiopathology
  • Hereditary Sensory and Motor Neuropathy / rehabilitation*
  • Humans
  • Isometric Contraction
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Myoglobin / blood
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / physiopathology
  • Myotonic Dystrophy / rehabilitation*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Weight Lifting*


  • Myoglobin