A new study investigating the efficacy of bicycle training on ventilatory functions in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) opens at Beni-Suef University in Egypt. 

The study aims to recruit 30 boys with DMD, ages 8 to 10 from Abu El-Rish Pediatric Hospital. The boys will be divided into 2 groups of 15. Those in the first group will be trained on the bicycle ergometer for 20 minutes per session plus participate in a designed physical therapy program for 1 hour per session while those in the second group will only participate in the physical therapy program.

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The physical therapy program consists of gentle stretching exercises for the biceps, hamstrings, and calf muscles on both sides, and isometric muscle contraction for the quadriceps, hamstrings, anterior tibial group, calf muscles, biceps, and triceps. There will also be diaphragmatic breathing exercises.

The primary outcome measure of the study are forced vital capacity (FVC), forced expiratory volume in the 1 second (FEV1), and the FVC/FEV1 ratio. The secondary outcome measure is the ambulatory status of each boy assessed by the North Star Ambulatory Assessment scale. 

Participants must have a confirmed diagnosis of DMD and still be ambulatory and able to sit unaided. Patients who have congenital or acquired skeletal deformities or cardiopulmonary dysfunction, have had previous orthopedic surgery in the lower limbs, or have behavioral problems that can cause an inability to cooperate during the study are not eligible to participate.

The study is estimated to be completed on August 15, 2023. 

DMD is an X-linked recessive disease mainly affecting boys. It is characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting with patients eventually losing the ability to walk and requiring a ventilator to breathe.

Bicycle ergometry training is used to improve respiratory function in different diseases. However, its effect on DMD is not known.   


Bicycle training on ventilatory functions in Duchenne muscular dystrophy. US National Library of Medicine. Updated May 9, 2023. Accessed May 26, 2023.