This study aimed to evaluate muscle oxidative function during exercise in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients (pALS) with non-invasive methods in order to assess if determinants of reduced exercise tolerance might match ALS clinical heterogeneity. 17 pALS, who were followed for 4 months, were compared with 13 healthy controls (CTRL). Exercise tolerance was assessed by an incremental exercise test on cycle ergometer measuring peak O 2 uptake (VO 2peak ), vastus lateralis oxidative function by near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) and breathing pattern (VE peak ). pALS displayed: (1) 44% lower VO 2peak vs. CTRL (p < 0.0001), paralleled by a 43% decreased peak skeletal muscle oxidative function (p < 0.01), with a linear regression between these two variables (r 2 = 0.64, p < 0.0001); (2) 46% reduced VE peak vs. CTRL (p < 0.0001), achieved by using an inefficient breathing pattern (increasing respiratory frequency) from the onset until the end of exercise. Inefficient skeletal muscle O 2 function, when flanking the impaired motor units recruitment, is a major determinant of pALS clinical heterogeneity and working capacity exercise tolerance. CPET and NIRS are useful tools for detecting early stages of oxidative deficiency in skeletal muscles, disclosing individual impairments in the O 2 transport and utilization chain. © 2017 The Author(s).
Lanfranconi, F., Ferri, A., Corna, G., Bonazzi, R., Lunetta, C., Silani, V., Riva, N., Rigamonti, A., Maggiani, A., Ferrarese, C., & Tremolizzo, L. (2017). Inefficient skeletal muscle oxidative function flanks impaired motor neuron recruitment in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis during exercise. Scientific Reports, 7(12), . https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-02811-z