Table of Contents
Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1436519, 8 pages
Research Article

Influence of Resistance Training on Neuromuscular Function and Physical Capacity in ALS Patients

1Department of Sports Science and Clinical Biomechanics, SDU Muscle Research Cluster, University of Southern Denmark, 5230 Odense M, Denmark
2Institute of Clinical Research, Clinical Pathology, SDU Muscle Research Cluster, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense C, Denmark
3Institute of Clinical Research, The Orthopaedic Research Unit, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense C, Denmark

Correspondence should be addressed to P. Aagaard

Received 29 December 2016; Accepted 24 April 2017; Published 17 May 2017

Academic Editor: Anabela C. Pinto

Copyright © 2017 L. Jensen 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.


Objectives. The present study aimed to explore the effect of resistance training in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease characterized by progressive motor neuron loss and muscle weakness. Materials and Methods. Following a 12-week “lead-in” control period, a population of ALS patients from Funen, Denmark, completed a 12-week resistance training program consisting of 2-3 sessions/week. Neuromuscular function (strength and power) and voluntary muscle activation (superimposed twitch technique) were evaluated before and after both control and training periods. Physical capacity tests (chair rise and timed up and go), the revised ALS functional rating scale (ALSFRS-R) scores, and muscle cross sectional area (histology) were also assessed. Results. Of twelve ALS patients assessed for eligibility, six were included and five completed the study. Training did not significantly affect the ALSFRS-R score, and loss of neuromuscular function (strength and power) increased following the training period. However, an improved functionality (chair rise) and an increase in greatly hypertrophied type II fibres combined with an increase in atrophied fibres following the training period compared to the control period were observed. Conclusion. In this small study, the present form of resistance training was unable to attenuate progressive loss of neuromuscular function in ALS, despite some changes in physical capacity and morphology.