Assessment of muscular strength and functional capacity in the juvenile and adult myotonic dystrophy type 1 population: a 3-year follow-up study.

Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a progressive, multisystemic, and autosomal dominant disease. Muscle wasting and weakness have been associated with impaired functional capacity and restricted social participation in affected individuals. The disease's presentation is very heterogenous and its progression is still under-documented.The aim of the study was to document the progression of muscular strength and functional capacity in the DM1 population over a 3-year period.Twenty-three individuals with juvenile or adult phenotypes of DM1 were recruited to complete clinical assessments in 2016 and 2019. Maximal isometric muscle strength (MIMS) was evaluated with quantified muscle testing and functional capacity was evaluated with the Mini-BESTest, the 10-m walk test at comfortable and maximal speeds, the Timed Up and Go and the 6-min walk test. Participants also completed three questionnaires: DM1-Activ, Upper Extremity Functional Index and Lower Extremity Functional Scale (LEFS). Subgroup analyses were evaluated for sex, phenotype, and type of physical activity practiced during the 3-year period.For the whole group, there was a significant decline in the scores of the Mini-BESTest and the LEFS. Also, MIMS significantly declined for prehension, lateral pinch as well as for hip abductors, knee extensors and ankle dorsiflexors muscle groups. Subgroups analyses revealed that men lost more MIMS than women, and that adult phenotype lost more MIMS than juvenile phenotype.Quantified muscle testing is a better indicator of disease progression over a 3-year period than functional tests. Phenotype and sex are important factors that influence the progression of DM1.


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Authors: Marie-Pier Roussel, Marie-Michèle Fiset, Laurie Gauthier, Claudia Lavoie, Émilie McNicoll, Laurie Pouliot, Cynthia Gagnon, Elise Duchesne