Novel, high-intensity exercise prescription improves muscle mass, mitochondrial function, and physical capacity in individuals with Parkinson's disease

Academic Article

Abstract

  • We conducted, in persons with Parkinson's disease (PD), a thorough assessment of neuromotor function and performance in conjunction with phenotypic analyses of skeletal muscle tissue, and further tested the adaptability of PD muscle to high-intensity exercise training. Fifteen participants with PD (Hoehn and Yahr stage 2-3) completed 16 wk of high-intensity exercise training designed to simultaneously challenge strength, power, endurance, balance, and mobility function. Skeletal muscle adaptations (P < 0.05) to exercise training in PD included myofiber hypertrophy (type I: +14%, type II: +36%), shift to less fatigable myofiber type profile, and increased mitochondrial complex activity in both subsarcolemmal and intermyofibrillar fractions (I: +45-56%, IV: +39-54%). These adaptations were accompanied by a host of functional and clinical improvements (P < 0.05): total body strength (+30-56%); leg power (+42%); single leg balance (+34%); sit-to-stand motor unit activation requirement (-30%); 6-min walk (+43 m), Parkinson's Disease Quality of Life Scale (PDQ-39, -7.8pts); Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) total (-5.7 pts) and motor (-2.7 pts); and fatigue severity (17%). Additionally, PD subjects in the pretraining state were compared with a group of matched, non-PD controls (CON; did not exercise). A combined assessment of muscle tissue phenotype and neuromuscular function revealed a higher distribution and larger cross-sectional area of type I myofibers and greater type II myofiber size heterogeneity in PD vs. CON (P < 0.05). In conclusion, persons with moderately advanced PD adapt to high-intensity exercise training with favorable changes in skeletal muscle at the cellular and subcellular levels that are associated with improvements in motor function, physical capacity, and fatigue perception. © 2014 the American Physiological Society.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kelly NA; Ford MP; Standaert DG; Watts RL; Bickel CS; Moellering DR; Tuggle SC; Williams JY; Lieb L; Windham ST
  • Start Page

  • 582
  • End Page

  • 592
  • Volume

  • 116
  • Issue

  • 5