A question that comes up frequently within the LAM community is whether exercise can improve life for individuals with LAM – and if so, how much exercise is the right amount. A recent publication demonstrated that not only is exercise safe for LAM patients – it is significantly beneficial. To examine the impact of exercise, The LAM Foundation granted Mary Beth Brown, PT, PhD, the Patient Benefit Award in 2018.
The results from Dr. Brown’s Exercise and Fatigue in LAM study showed that most patients could adjust their exercise intensity and use of supplemental oxygen as needed to keep safe exercise parameters. After twelve weeks of exercise, patients showed improvements in various health measures, including walking distance and quality of life, with no adverse effects. The authors concluded that remote monitoring-enabled home exercise programs are a safe, feasible, and effective option for patients with LAM, offering a new way to improve their health.
The idea for peer-reviewed research on exercise and LAM came out of The LAM Foundation’s Patient Benefit Conference in 2017. The conference used an innovative format to bring patients, clinicians, and researchers together to discover and address short-term challenges experienced by women with LAM. They brainstormed methods to improve patients’ quality of life using design thinking strategies and raised more than $200,000 to establish the Patient Benefit Grant Program.
With the data from this initial study, Dr. Brown submitted an additional grant proposal the The LAM Foundation in 2022 and was awarded an Established Investigator Award to build and implement a mobile health-enabled exercise program called LAMFit . Watch for future communications about the next phase of research into LAM and exercise from Dr. Brown’s lab.