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Autoimmune Diseases
Volume 2011, Article ID 808607, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/808607
Research Article

Long-Term Respiratory Muscle Endurance Training in Patients with Myasthenia Gravis: First Results after Four Months of Training

1Carl Ludwig Institute of Physiology, University of Leipzig, 04103 Leipzig, Germany
2Neurological Joint Practice, 04229 Leipzig, Germany
3Division of Neurology, Medical Care Center, Helios Hospitals, 04420 Markranstädt, Germany

Received 31 May 2011; Accepted 24 June 2011

Academic Editor: Nils Erik Gilhus

Copyright © 2011 Beate Rassler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Myasthenia gravis (MG) is characterized by reduced muscle endurance and is often accompanied by respiratory complications. Improvement of respiratory function is therefore an important objective in MG therapy. A previous study demonstrated that respiratory muscle endurance training (RMET) over four weeks increased respiratory muscle endurance of MG patients to about 200% of baseline. The purpose of the present study was to establish an appropriate maintenance training and to test its effects over four months. Ten patients with mild to moderate MG participated in this study. During the first month, they performed five training sessions per week. For the following 3 months, training frequency was reduced to five sessions per two weeks. Myasthenia score, lung function, and respiratory endurance were determined prior to training, after the first month, and after 4 months. Myasthenia score improved from to ( ). Respiratory endurance time increased from to min ( ). In conclusion, this RMET maintenance program is feasible and is significantly beneficial for MG patients.