Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation reduces muscle atrophy in COPD, researchers find

Date:
May 23, 2010
Source:
American Thoracic Society
Summary:
Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) may reduce muscle atrophy in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to Canadian researchers.

Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) may reduce muscle atrophy in patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to Canadian researchers.

The results were reported at the ATS 2010 International Conference in New Orleans.

NMES is the application of electrical stimulation to a group of muscles through electrodes placed on the skin. It is primarily used by physical therapists to help restore function to injured muscles. Isabelle Vivodtzev, Ph.D. and colleagues wanted to test whether NMES had the potential to address muscle wasting in COPD patients.

Muscle wasting is common in patients with severe COPD, and effective treatment has yet to be developed. The impact of muscle wasting and poor limb muscle endurance on survival and functional status in COPD has been clearly established. General physical reconditioning is currently the best treatment to improve limb muscle function in this disease, but there is a need to develop alternative tools to treat limb muscle dysfunction. Up to a third of patients with COPD undertaking exercise training do not show the expected gain in functional status or muscle function.

"Because it has little impact on ventilatory requirements and dyspnea, NMES appears as a promising alternative to general physical reconditioning in advanced COPD and its feasibility has been confirmed in this population," said Dr. Vivodtzev, a postdoctoral student at l'Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie du Québec.

To investigate whether NMES could effectively reduce muscle wasting in COPD patients, the researchers recruited 20 patients with severe COPD (FEV1<50% expected) to be randomly assigned to receive home-based NMES or sham treatment (wherein electrical stimulation was applied, but at a very low frequency so as to induce tremor sensation without true muscle contraction) for 30 minutes, five days a week over six weeks, in a double-blind study.

Training with NMES led to significant reduction in the level of Atrogin-1 protein which is involved in muscle protein degradation, and, maintenance of the level of p70S6K protein, which is involved in protein synthesis in the NMES-trained patients as compared with sham group. Furthermore, changes correlated with changes in intensity of stimulation during NMES training suggesting that changes at cellular level were modulated via a dose-response manner.

"NMES improved quadriceps and calf muscle mass. Improvements in quadriceps muscle mass were positively correlated with changes in the level of proteins involved in muscle signalling pathway," said Dr. Vivodtzev. "These results suggested that NMES training would increase the anabolism to catabolism ratio in muscle proteins of COPD patients and prevent muscle-wasting."

"Our result also confirmed that NMES could improve walking distance and muscle strength in COPD patients. Similarly to what observed at cellular level, the patients who were able to increase the intensity of stimulation during the whole training program also improved muscle strength and walking distance to a greater extent than the patients who kept the same intensity of training from the beginning to the end of training," said Dr. Vivodtzev.

Dr. Vivotzev expected that muscle electrostimulation would improve walking and exercise capacity in COPD, as the effect had been previously described in the literature in COPD patients. However she and her colleagues were surprised to discover that certain patients were better tolerant to high intensity of stimulation than others, with better improvements in muscle strength and walking distance after NMES.

"If borne out by further research, our study would set the physiological foundations upon which future clinical utilizations of muscle electrostimulation could be based," concluded Dr. Vivodtzev. "In the long term, we wish to contribute to therapeutic development in the area of limb muscle dysfunction in COPD as this should lead to better functional status, quality of life and survival."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Thoracic Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Thoracic Society. "Neuromuscular electrical stimulation reduces muscle atrophy in COPD, researchers find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517144810.htm>.
American Thoracic Society. (2010, May 23). Neuromuscular electrical stimulation reduces muscle atrophy in COPD, researchers find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517144810.htm
American Thoracic Society. "Neuromuscular electrical stimulation reduces muscle atrophy in COPD, researchers find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100517144810.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

Ebola Doctor Says Border Controls Critical

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) — A Florida doctor who helped fight the expanding Ebola outbreak in West Africa says the disease can be stopped, but only if nations quickly step up their response and make border control a priority. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) — More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins