Endurance exercise training in Guillain-Barre syndrome

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1993 Jul;74(7):761-5. doi: 10.1016/0003-9993(93)90039-d.


The purpose of this case study was to determine whether an individual who had residual deficits following an acute incidence of Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) would experience improved physiological adaptations following aerobic endurance training. A 57-year-old man who needed the aid of a crutch for walking three years following an acute bout of GBS participated in this study. Peak work level (watts), oxygen consumption (VO2 mL/min; mL/kg.min), and ventilation (VE, L/min) were determined on a bicycle ergometer (BE), a Schwinn Air-Dyne ergometer (SAE), and an arm crank ergometer (ACE) before and after exercise training. Isokinetic leg strength measured using a dynamometer and total work capacity in watts using BE were also determined before and after training. The subject trained for 16 weeks at an approximate frequency of 3 days/week, an average duration of 30 minutes, and an average intensity of 75% to 80% of pretraining peak HR. A 9% and 11% improvement was seen in peak oxygen consumption for the SAE and BE, respectively. For peak ventilation, a 23% and 11% improvement was seen for the SAE and BE, respectively. For the ACE, a 16% increase in peak ventilation was seen, with no improvement in aerobic capacity. Total work capacity on the BE was improved by 29% following training. Positive improvements were also seen in isokinetic leg strength. This study demonstrated that a man still suffering residual symptoms following an incidence of GBS was able to improve his cardiopulmonary and work capacity and isokinetic strength of his legs following a supervised training program using the SAE. The subject also reported improvements in activities of daily living.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / physiopathology
  • Polyradiculoneuropathy / rehabilitation*