For those of you who don’t know, myotonic dystrophy is a genetic condition that causes muscle weakness and degeneration. Patients with this disease have prolonged muscle contractions (myotonia). They also find it harder to relax certain muscles. People who suffer from this disorder sometimes experience skeletal muscle atrophy and severe muscle weakness. They also have reduced lung capacity. Other symptoms can include slurred speech, and they can also sometimes have locked jaws. A few different types of signs of this disease include blurred vision (cataract) and abnormal heart rhythm.
A study conducted by researchers at McMaster University and recently published in
The Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that regular cycling can be beneficial for patients with DM, as it demonstrates that 35 minutes of cycling three times a week, for 12 weeks, can lead to a 32% increase in overall fitness in patients with DM.
Additionally, the study researchers found that the patients who participated in the study had increased muscle mass by 1.6 kg and reduced fat by 2%. They could also cover more ground in just six minutes then before the study. The research was conducted by studying 11 patients with DM, and the scientists also looked at the fundamental molecular mechanisms by which exercise can strengthen skeletal muscles, which experience severe weakness or atrophy due to DM.
The researchers claimed that patients with DM are sometimes advised against exercise by their doctors for fear of making their condition worse. However, this study proves that this assumption is wrong.