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Effect of RMT on respiratory muscle strength in multiple sclerosis

By November 8, 2016Blog, Neuromuscular

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system that is associated with selective destruction of the myelin sheaths. MS is also associated with respiratory muscle weakness, dysphagia and a risk of penetration/aspiration. Because of this risk, respiratory complications are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in MS patients. It is vital that patients be able to maintain and improve their respiratory functions in order to improve their prognosis and outlook.

The study explored in this blog post takes a look at how that respiratory function might be improved. Inspiratory muscle training (IMT) is tested for improvements in respiratory muscle strength and capacity as well as for improved well-being.

Key Findings

  • Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system associated with degeneration of myelin sheaths.
  • MS patients have respiratory muscle weakness, dysphagia and are at risk of penetration/aspiration.
  • Respiratory complications are a cause of morbidity and mortality in MS patients.
  • 10 weeks of respiratory muscle training (RMT) increased respiratory muscle strength in MS patients.
  • The effect of RMT was still measurable 1 month after RMT.

Patient Impact

RMT effectively improves long-term respiratory muscle strength in MS patients.

Study Methods

The following variables were assessed and measured as part of the study:

  • Spirometry
  • Maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressure (Pimax, Pemax)
  • Clinical assessments
  • Questionnaires on the patients’ fatigue severity and physical endurance

The above were evaluated before and after 10 weeks of IMT and after a one month follow-up in MS patients.

Study Results

Pimax increased significantly and Pemax slightly in response to IMT when compared to the control group. Furthermore, the effect was still observed one month after the study. IMT had no effect on other parameters.

IMT has a beneficial effect on inspiratory muscle strength in patients with MS and is recommended as a complement to ordinary physical training.

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