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Science News: Treadmill Training in Patients Affected by Charcot-Marie-Tooth Neuropathy: Results of a Multicenter, Prospective, Randomized, Single-blind, Controlled Study

Submitted by Nandita Keole, MD
Edited by Francisco Gomez, MD

Treadmill training in patients affected by Charcot-Marie-Tooth neuropathy: results of a multicenter, prospective, randomized, single-blind, controlled study. Mori L1,2, Signori A3, Prada V1, Pareyson D4, Piscosquito G5, Padua L6, Pazzaglia C7, Fabrizi GM8, Picelli A9, Schenone A1,2; TreSPE study group. Eur J Neurol. 2020 Feb;27(2):280-287.

A multicenter, prospective, randomized, single-blind, controlled study of 53 outpatients affected by CMT1A who were recruited and randomized in two treatment groups: one underwent stretching and proprioceptive exercise (SPE), whereas the other was additionally treated with treadmill training (TreSPE). Primary outcome measures (OMs) were the walking evaluations and secondary OM was the balance assessment. All participants were assessed at baseline and after 3 and 6 months of treatment. Most patients showed an improvement in at least one OM after 3 months [42/47 (89.4%)] and 6 months [38/40 (95%)] of treatment. No adverse events were reported in either group.

Rehabilitation treatment produces an objective benefit in people with CMT disease, both proprioceptive and stretching exercise as well as treadmill training. The authors found that there was deterioration in both groups at about 6 months so recommendations could be made for twice a year therapy. Patients with CMT disease who undergo rehabilitation treatment may have benefits such as prevention of secondary impairments, maintaining articular range of movement, avoiding pain and contractures, and maximizing remaining abilities.

Comments: Interesting article because the authors found that just stretching and balance exercises alone significantly improved patient abilities. Patients can be instructed in a home exercise program that would be of benefit to them.

A caveat is that the therapy was provided twice a week for 12 weeks (24 sessions) – not sure if we can get patient buy-in for that many weeks of therapy.

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