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McArdle Disease medical overview

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Page 13

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Page 13

EXERCISE AND DIET

Beneficial exercise


  • Relatively gentle aerobic exercise is very beneficial for people with McArdle disease [1] – it helps to improve their aerobic metabolism.

  • Exercise is helpful with the important task of keeping weight under control.

  • People with McArdle disease, no matter what age they are, need to have a regular exercise routine[2].

  • At least 45 minutes of aerobic exercise, after attaining ‘second wind’ (page 12f), five times a week, is strongly recommended [3].

  • The common mantra ‘No pain, no gain’ is wrong in McArdle disease.

  • Studies suggest that aerobic training is safe, with improvements in physiological parameters after several weeks. Controlled trials are needed to fully assess the therapeutic effect [4].

  • If patients are very de-conditioned they need to start their exercise routine very carefully. This should be done under the supervision of a McArdle specialist.

  • Information to support training of people with McArdle’s is available (page 14f).


[1] Aerobic conditioning: an effective therapy in McArdle’s Disease. (2006) Haller RG, Wyrick P, Taivassalo P, et al. Ann Neurol; 59: 922e8.

[2] Exercise capacity in a 78 year old patient with McArdle’s disease: it is never too late to start exercising. Perez, M. et al. (2006) Br J Sports Med 40: 725-726.

[3] The ‘McArdle paradox’: exercise is good advice for the exercise intolerant. Lucia A, Quinlivan R, Wakelin A, Martín MA, Andreu, AL, et al. (2012) Br J Sports Med doi: 10.1136.

[4] Exercise and Preexercise Nutrition as Treatment for McArdle Disease. Nogales-Gadea G, Santalla A, Ballester-Lopez A, Lucia A, et al. (2016) Med Sci Sports Exerc. PMID: 26559449.



McArdle Disease Medical Overview

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