The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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  • Recent Comments

    Endurance training for people with myasthenia gravis

    Normocapnic hyperpnea is a form of endurance training for respiratory muscles.

    This study reports it’s useful in people with myasthenia gravis.

    First, the details.

    • 10 people with myasthenia gravis participated in home-based respiratory muscle endurance training
    • The patients had mild to moderate generalized myasthenia gravis.
    • Normocapnic hyperpnea training was designed to achieve 50% to 60% of their maximal voluntary ventilation over 4 to 6 weeks.

    And, the results.

    • The training significantly increased respiratory endurance and total ventilatory volume.
    • When the training was stopped, about 25% of this gain was lost after 3 to 5 months.
    • Myasthenia gravis score and lung function, however, did not change.
    • Patients were positive about the training effects on physical fitness and respiration.

    The bottom line?
    The major symptom of myasthenia gravis is muscle weakness. One example is myasthenia crisis, which involves shortness of breath. Patients in crisis have difficulty breathing, and a ventilator might be needed.

    Usually breathing problems worsen over days to weeks, not suddenly, as the term “crisis” suggests. And based on this study it appears that normocapnic hyperpnea training might be helpful.

    A placebo-controlled study would have provided more information. A real challenge would be to gather a sufficient number of patients to see if those using normocapnic hyperpnea training have a lower risk of crisis.

    7/25/07 112:16 JR

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