HIIT Workout aids in regaining walking capacity among chronic stroke patients


eMediNexus    25 February 2023

Results of a pilot randomized trial published in the JAMA Neurology found that high-intensity walking helped chronic stroke patients restore their ability to walk better than with more moderate training.


The experiment comprised 55 patients with a single prior stroke and persistent walking impairments six months or more after the stroke, ranging in age from 40 to 80 (mean age 63, 34.5% women). At baseline, they had been post-stroke for a mean of 2.5 years and as long as 5 years.


Patients took part in aerobic exercise training sessions for 12 weeks, randomly assigned to either high-intensity or moderate-intensity. The HIIT group had a greater peak training speed (161% vs. 96% of the fastest baseline 10-m speed) and higher means steady state heart rate (75% vs. 59%).


Both groups significantly increased their aerobic capacity, self-selected gait speed, and quickest gait speed as secondary objectives, although the HIIT group did so considerably better.


At 8 weeks, only the HIIT group had improved fatigue, with significantly lower PROMIS Fatigue Scale T scores than the moderate-intensity exercise group.


No severe adverse events associated with exercise training or between-group variations in any adverse event category were observed, which supports the safety of poststroke HIIT for further investigation.


The study found that vigorous walking exercise in chronic stroke patients increased walking capacity significantly and meaningfully after 4 weeks of training. However, at least 12 weeks were needed to maximize immediate results.


(Source: https://www.medpagetoday.com/neurology/strokes/103247)

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