J Neurol Sci 2001 Oct 15;191(1-2):139-44
Department of Neurology, San Giovanni Bosco Hospital, Largo Donatore di sangue3, 10154, Torino, Italy.
Creatine supplementation in humans has been reported to enhance power and strength both in normal subjects and in patients with various neuromuscular diseases. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of supplementation on exercise performance and maximal voluntary isometric muscular contraction (MVIC) in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) patients. We report the results obtained in 28 patients with probable/definite ALS. In each patient we acquired the dynamometric measurement of MVIC in 10 muscle groups of upper and lowerlimbs and a measure of fatigue by means of an high-intensity intermittent protocol in elbow flexors and knee extensors muscles. All patients completed the protocols at the baseline and after supplementation of 20 g per day for7 days and after supplementation of 3 g per day for 3 and 6 months. MVIC increased after 7 days of supplementation in 20 patients (70%) in knee extensors and in 15 (53%) of them also in elbow flexors. A statistically significant difference between pre and post-treatment mean values of MVIC was found both in elbow flexors (P<0.05) and knee extensors (p<0.04). The analysis of the slopes of fatigue test showed a statistically significant improvement after 7 days of supplementation in 11 patients (39%) in elbow flexors and in 9 patients (32%) also in knee extensors muscles. During the 6-month follow-up period all the examined parameters showed a linear progressive decline. In conclusion, our preliminary results have demonstrated that supplementation temporary increases maximal isometric power in ALS patients so it may be of potential benefit in situations such as high intensity activity and it can be proposed as a symptomatic treatment.