Physical training and exercise in myasthenia gravis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionNeuromuscular Disorders. 2021, 31 (3), 169-173. 10.1016/j.nmd.2020.12.004
Myasthenia gravis is characterized by muscle weakness and fatigue. As sustained muscle use increases the weakness, the value of physical training programs has previously been questioned. This is a review to clarify the safety and usefulness of systematic training in myasthenia gravis, based on a systematic search in available databases using the relevant key words. Ten intervention studies including 159 patients with generalized disease have been published regarding the effect of systematic physical training, three of them on respiratory muscles. Muscle strength improved, and in the majority of the studies also daily function and quality of life. The feeling of fatigue not directly related to actual muscle weakness was less influenced by physical training. Continuous training was necessary to maintain the improved function. Physical training and exercise are safe in myasthenia gravis. This can improve both muscle strength and daily function. Type and intensity of systematic training should be adapted in the individual patient. A minimum of 150 min of exercise per week is recommended for myasthenia gravis patients with mild and moderate disease.