The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. (Piaxabay) Regular cycling can improve mobility in patients suffering from myotonic dystrophy, a genetic condition that causes muscle degeneration, a new study headed by McMaster University has found. Senior author Mark Tarnopolsky said cycling for 35 minutes thrice a week for 12 weeks led to a 32% increase in overall fitness in people with myotonic dystrophy. Patients who volunteered for the study also witnessed a 1.6-kg increase in muscle mass and a 2% reduction of body fat. They were also able to walk an extra 47 metres in six minutes when tested at the end of the 12-week period.
The study was published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation .
Tarnopolsky and team recruited 11 patients with myotonic dystrophy to examine the effectiveness of cycling in restoring and maintaining their physical wellbeing. The researchers studied the underlying molecular mechanisms of exercise strengthening skeletal muscles, which can be weakened by myotonic dystrophy.
“Exercise really is medicine — we just need to get the message out,” Tarnopolsky, a professor of paediatrics and medicine, said.
“Myotonic dystrophy is a progressive condition that will impair your mobility and can put you in a wheelchair.”
He added that there was no cure for the condition and only regular exercise helped patients achieve better function. Tarnopolsky also mentioned that some myotonic dystrophy patients were even advised by doctors not to exercise for fear of worsening their condition. However, the study has proven that to be false.
The authors said previous research […]