Health Benefits of an Innovative Exercise Program for Mitochondrial Disorders

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We determined the effects of an innovative 8-wk exercise intervention (aerobic, resistance, and inspiratory muscle training) for patients with mitochondrial disease.


Several end points were assessed in 12 patients (19–59 yr, 4 women) at pretraining, posttraining, and after 4-wk detraining: aerobic power, muscle strength/power and maximal inspiratory pressure (main end points), ability to perform activities of daily living, body composition, quality of life, and blood myokines (secondary end points).


The program was safe, with patients’ adherence being 94% ± 5%. A significant time effect was found for virtually all main end points (P ≤ 0.004), indicating a training improvement. Similar findings (P ≤ 0.003) were found for activities of daily living tests, total/trunk/leg lean mass, total fat mass, femoral fracture risk, and general health perception. No differences were found for blood myokines, except for an acute exertional increase in interleukin 8 at posttraining/detraining (P = 0.002) and in fatty acid binding protein 3 at detraining (P = 0.002).


An intervention including novel exercises for mitochondrial disease patients (e.g., inspiratory muscle training) produced benefits in numerous indicators of physical capacity and induced a previously unreported shift toward a healthier body composition phenotype.

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