Diabetes is the main cause of peripheral neuropathy where older patients are at increased risk of diabetic distal symmetrical polyneuropathy (DSPN) due to age-related nerve degeneration and vascular changes. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of resistance training on nerve conduction, measures of neuropathy and arterial stiffness in older patients with DSPN. In a randomized controlled trial, thirty-four older adults with type-2 diabetes and peripheral neuropathy were enrolled and randomly assigned to experimental and control groups. The experimental group carried out circuit resistance training (1-3 rounds, 11 exercises, 10-15 reps, 50%-60% of 1RM, 3 times per week) for 12 weeks. Measurements were performed at baseline and 48 h after the intervention. Measures of DSPN including Michigan neuropathy screening instrument (MNSI), Michigan diabetic neuropathy score (MDNS), motor nerve action potential amplitude (APA), sensory and motor nerve conduction velocity (NCV) improved following intervention (p<0.001, p = 0.001, p = 0.034, p = 0.001, and p = 0.001, respectively). Sensory APA did not change after the intervention (p = 0.139). Cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) and ankle-brachial index (ABI) improved in the experimental group compared with the control group (p = 0.014 and p = 0.033, respectively). In addition, HbA1C decreased following the 12-week resistance training program (p=0.002). Older adults with DSPN respond positively to resistance training by improved neuropathy symptoms, nerve conduction, arterial stiffness and glucose regulation. Resistance training offers a positive intervention that can abate the progression of DSPN in older adults.
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 12 Jul 2021|