Category: Clinical Sciences/Health Conditions
Objectives: To investigate whether people with cerebellar degeneration can perform rigorous aerobic exercise and to assess the clinical impact of the training.
Design:Randomized single-blinded controlled, feasibility study comparing aerobic training to no training.
Setting:Home intervention, assessments conducted at an academic medical center.
Subjects:Twenty adults with cerebellar degeneration.
Intervention:Aerobic training consisted of four-weeks of stationary bicycle training, five times per week for 30-minute sessions. Intensity ranged from 65 to 80% of the participant’s maximal heart rate determined during cardiopulmonary exercise testing.
Main Measures: Primary outcome measure was change in the Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia scores. Recruitment rate, adherence, drop-out, and adverse events were also determined. The treatment was considered technically feasible if participants achieved target training frequency, duration, and intensity.
Results: The 20 participants mean age was 50 years (standard deviation 15.65) and average Scale for the Assessment and Rating of Ataxia score was 9.6 (standard deviation 3.13). Ten participants were randomized to aerobic training and ten to no training. Seven participants in the aerobic group attained target training duration, frequency, and intensity. There was a mean reduction of ataxia severity of 2.1 points (standard deviation 1.26) with four-weeks of aerobic training whereas ataxia severity increased by 0.3 (standard deviation 0.62) in the control subjects over the same time period. Walking speed, balance measures, and fitness also improved in subjects who performed aerobic exercise.
Conclusions:Rigorous aerobic training is feasible in people with cerebellar degeneration. Improvements in ataxia, balance, and gait are promising.
Scott Barbuto– Assistant Professor, Columbia Medical University
Joel Stein– Department Chair, Columbia Medical University
Dario Martelli– Post doc fellow, Columbia University
Isarime Omofuma– Student, Columbia University
Sheng-Han Kuo– Assistant Professor, Columbia Medical Center
Michael O'Dell– VIce chair, Cornell medical center
Sunil Agrawal– Professor, Columbia University