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Pulmonary and respiratory muscle function impairment are common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Inspiratory muscle training may improve strength, dyspnea and functional capacity in healthy subjects and in those with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. This study investigated the effect of specific inspiratory muscle training (SIMT) on pulmonary functions, inspiratory muscle performance, dyspnea and quality of life, in patients with PD.
Patients and Methods:
Twenty patients with PD (stage II and III Hoehn and Yahr scale) were recruited for the study and were divided into two groups: a) ten patients who received SIMT and b) ten patients who received sham training, for three months. Pulmonary functions, the respiratory muscle strength and endurance, the perception of dyspnea (POD) and the quality of life were studied before and within one week after the training period. All subjects trained daily, six times a week, each session consisting of 1/2 hour, for 12 weeks.
Following the training period, there was a significant improvement, in the training group but not in the control group, in the following parameters: inspiratory muscle strength, (PImax, increased from 62.0±8.2 to 78.0±7.5 cm of H2O (p<0.05), inspiratory muscle endurance (increased from 20.0±2.8 to 29.0±3.0 cm of H2O (p<0.05), and the POD (decreased from 17.9±3.2 to 14.0±2.4 units (p<0.05). There was a close correlation between the increase in the inspiratory muscle performance and the decrease in the POD.
The inspiratory muscle performance may be improved by SIMT in patients with PD. This improvement is associated with a significant decrease in their POD.
Pulmonary and respiratory muscle function impairment are common in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). However, dyspnea is not a frequent complaint among these patients, although it is well documented that the intensity of dyspnea is related to the activity and the strength of the respiratory muscles.
Patients and Methods:
We studied pulmonary function, respiratory muscle strength and endurance and the perception of dyspnea (POD) in 20 patients with PD (stage II and III Hoehn and Yahr scale) before and after their first daily L-dopa dose. Respiratory muscle strength was assessed by measuring the maximal inspiratory and expiratory mouth pressures (PImax and PEmax), at residual volume (RV) and total lung capacity (TLC) respectively. The POD was measured while the subject breathed against progressive load and dyspnea was rated using a visual analog scale.
Respiratory muscle strength and endurance were decreased and the POD was increased during the off medication period compared to normal subjects. There was a nonsignificant trend to an increase in PImax, PEmax and endurance after L-dopa intake. The POD of PD patients decreased (p<0.05) following medication, although, it remained increased (p<0.01) as compared to the normal subjects. Even if patients had spirometry data showing a mild restrictive pattern, before medication, both forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume (FEV)1 remained almost identical after L-dopa intake.
Patients with PD have higher POD, compared to normal subjects and this increased perception is attenuated when the patients are on dopaminergic medication. The change in the POD is not related to changes in respiratory muscle performance or pulmonary functions. A central effect or a correction of uncoordinated respiratory movements by L-dopa may contribute to the decrease in POD following L-dopa treatment.
Myasthenia gravis (MG) is a specific autoimmune disease characterized by weakness and fatigue. MG may affect also the respiratory muscles causing symptoms that may vary from dyspnea on severe exertion to dyspnea at rest. This study was undertaken in order to determine the effects of respiratory muscle training on respiratory muscle performance, spirometry data and the grade of dyspnea in patients with moderate to severe generalized MG.
Eighteen patients with MG were studied and divided into 2 groups: Group A included 10 patients (3 males and 7 females aged 29-68) with moderate MG, and Group B that included 8 patients (5 males and 3 females aged 21-74) with severe MG. Patients in Group A received both inspiratory and expiratory muscle training for 1/2 h/day, 6 times a week, for 3 months, while patients in Group B followed the same protocol but had inspiratory muscle training only.
Mean PImax increased significantly from 56.6 ± 3.9 to 87.0 ± 5.8 cm H20 (p < 0.001) in Group A, and from 28.9 ± 5.9 to 45.5 ± 6.7 cm H20 (p < 0.005) in Group B. The mean PEmax also increased significantly in patients in Group A, but remained unchanged in the patients in Group B. The respiratory muscle endurance also increased significantly, from 47.9 ± 4.0 to 72.0 ± 4.2%, p < 0.001, in patients of Group A, and from 26.0 ± 2.9 to 43.4 ± 3.8, p < 0.001, in patients in Group B. The improved respiratory muscle performance was associated with a significant increase in the FEV, values, and in the FVC values, in patients of both groups. Mean dyspnea index score also increased significantly from 2.6 ± 0.8 to 3.6 ± 0.4 (p < 0.005) in Group A, and from 0.7 ± 0.2 to 2.0 ± 0.2 (p < 0.001) in Group B.
Specific inspiratory threshold loading training alone, or combined with specific expiratory training, markedly improved respiratory muscle strength and endurance in patients with MG. This improvement in respiratory muscle performance was associated with improved lung function and decreased dyspnea. Respiratory muscle training may prove useful as a complementary therapy with the aim of reducing dyspnea symptoms, delay the breathing crisis and the need for mechanical ventilation in patients with MG.
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