The value of muscle exercise in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Vivian E. Drory*, Evgeny Goltsman, Jacqueline Goldman Reznik, Amnon Mosek, Amos D. Korczyn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The role of physical activity for patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is controversial. Twenty-five ALS patients were randomized to receive a moderate daily exercise program (n = 14) or not to perform any physical activity beyond their usual daily requirements (n = 11). At baseline and after 3, 6, 9 and 12 months, patients were assessed by manual muscle strength testing, the Ashworth spasticity scale, ALS functional rating scale (FRS), fatigue severity scale, a visual analogue scale for musculoskeletal pain and the quality-of-life scale (SF-36). At 3 months, patients who performed regular exercise showed less deterioration on FRS and Ashworth scales, but not on other parameters. At 6 months, there was no significant difference between groups, although a trend towards less deterioration in the treated group on most scales was observed. At 9 and 12 months, there were too few patients in each group for statistical evaluation. Our results show that a regular moderate physical exercise program has a short-lived positive effect on disability in ALS patients and should be recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Fatigue
  • Physical activity
  • Physical exercise
  • Quality-of-life
  • Spasticity


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