There is no treatment for myotonic dystrophy…yet. In the interim period a new study shows that behaorial therapy and exercise can help to stem the huge impact this disease has on patients. Here is the conclusion :
Interpretation Cognitive behavioural therapy increased the capacity for activity and social participation in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 at 10 months. With no curative treatment and few symptomatic treatments, cognitive behavioural therapy could be considered for use in severely fatigued patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1.
However, in reviewing the study this approach requires huge amount of medical resources that may not be available. Hours of analysis of the issues with patients and then tailoring the approach to each patient and tweaking it periodically. Working with a medical professionals for hours is very expensive and most health systems ahve no way to accomplish this.
Cognitive behavioural therapy with optional graded
exercise therapy in patients with severe fatigue with myotonic
dystrophy type 1: a multicentre, single-blind, randomised trial
Kees Okkersen, Cecilia Jimenez-Moreno, Stephan Wenninger, Ferroudja Daidj, Jeffrey Glennon, Sarah Cumming, Roberta Littleford,
Darren G Monckton, Hanns Lochmüller, Michael Catt, Catharina G Faber, Adrian Hapca, Peter T Donnan, Gráinne Gorman, Guillaume Bassez,
Benedikt Schoser, Hans Knoop, Shaun Treweek, Baziel G M van Engelen, for the OPTIMISTIC consortium†
Background Myotonic dystrophy type 1 is the most common form of muscular dystrophy in adults and leads to severe fatigue, substantial physical functional impairment, and restricted social participation. In this study, we aimed to
determine whether cognitive behavioural therapy optionally combined with graded exercise compared with standard care alone improved the health status of patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1.
Methods We did a multicentre, single-blind, randomised trial, at four neuromuscular referral centres with experience in treating patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 located in Paris (France), Munich (Germany), Nijmegen (Netherlands), and Newcastle (UK). Eligible participants were patients aged 18 years and older with a confirmed
genetic diagnosis of myotonic dystrophy type 1, who were severely fatigued (ie, a score of ≥35 on the checklistindividual strength, subscale fatigue). We randomly assigned participants (1:1) to either cognitive behavioural therapy plus standard care and optional graded exercise or standard care alone. Randomisation was done via a central webbased system, stratified by study site. Cognitive behavioural therapy focused on addressing reduced patient initiative, increasing physical activity, optimising social interaction, regulating sleep–wake patterns, coping with pain, and
addressing beliefs about fatigue and myotonic dystrophy type 1. Cognitive behavioural therapy was delivered over a 10-month period in 10–14 sessions. A graded exercise module could be added to cognitive behavioural therapy in Nijmegen and Newcastle. The primary outcome was the 10-month change from baseline in scores on the DM1-Activ-c scale, a measure of capacity for activity and social participation (score range 0–100). Statistical analysis of the primary outcome included all participants for whom data were available, using mixed-effects linear regression models with
baseline scores as a covariate. Safety data were presented as descriptives
This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials. gov, number NCT02118779.
Findings Between April 2, 2014, and May 29, 2015, we randomly assigned 255 patients to treatment: 128 to cognitive behavioural therapy plus standard care and 127 to standard care alone. 33 (26%) of 128 assigned to cognitive behavioural therapy also received the graded exercise module. Follow-up continued until Oct 17, 2016. The DM1- Activ-c score increased from a mean (SD) of 61·22 (17·35) points at baseline to 63·92 (17·41) at month 10 in the cognitive behavioural therapy group (adjusted mean difference 1·53, 95% CI –0·14 to 3·20), and decreased from 63·00 (17·35) to 60·79 (18·49) in the standard care group (–2·02, –4·02 to –0·01), with a mean difference between groups of 3·27 points (95% CI 0·93 to 5·62, p=0·007). 244 adverse events occurred in 65 (51%) patients in the cognitive behavioural therapy group and 155 in 63 (50%) patients in the standard care alone group, the most common
of which were falls (155 events in 40 [31%] patients in the cognitive behavioural therapy group and 71 in 33 [26%] patients in the standard care alone group). 24 serious adverse events were recorded in 19 (15%) patients in the cognitive
behavioural therapy group and 23 in 15 (12%) patients in the standard care alone group, the most common of which were gastrointestinal and cardiac. Interpretation Cognitive behavioural therapy increased the capacity for activity and social participation in patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1 at 10 months. With no curative treatment and few symptomatic treatments, cognitive behavioural therapy could be considered for use in severely fatigued patients with myotonic dystrophy type 1.