Maximizing Exercise as Movement Medicine for Neuromuscular Diseases: Donovan Lott, PT, PhD, CSCS


The research associate professor in the department of physical therapy at the University of Florida talked about physical therapy inventions for neuromuscular diseases at the 2023 MDA conference. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“How can we find that optimal means of having exercise being prescribed and utilized in a therapeutic and beneficial fashion that will maximize other kinds of interventions that are getting through—whether it's gene therapy, pharmaceuticals or others?”

Physical therapists are an important component of the multidisciplinary care team for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a muscle degenerative disorder that can manifest in early childhood and results in progressive muscle weakness. In caring for patients with DMD, physical therapists have provided their expertise in the assessment of the disease, contracture management, assistive device prescription, and exercise recommendation.1

Recently, at the 2023 Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) Clinical & Scientific Conference, March 19-22, in Dallas, Texas, Donovan Lott, PT, PhD, CSCS, presented a talk on modifying therapy interventions in the evolving market landscape of care.2 In his section of the presentation, he talked about developing a program based on strength training for patients with DMD while the rest of the session focused on understanding the application of wearable devices to quantify infant movement in neuromuscular diseases.

Lott, research associate professor, department of physical therapy, at the University of Florida, sat down with NeurologyLive® in an interview at the conference to provide an overview of the current knowledge of physical therapy interventions for neuromuscular diseases. He talked about maximizing physical therapy in combination with prescribed pharmacological treatments for patients as well as viewing physical therapy for neuromuscular diseases as “movement medicine” and finding the right balance of exercise.

Click here for more coverage of MDA 2023.

1. Senesac CR, Barnard AM, Lott DJ, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Studies in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy: Linking Findings to the Physical Therapy Clinic. Phys Ther. 2020;100(11):2035-2048. doi:10.1093/ptj/pzaa140
2. Lott D. Development of a Strength Training Program in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Presented at: MDA Clinical & Scientific Conference; March 19-22, 2023; Dallas, TX. NMD Care Delivery: Care Throughout the Patient Journey Track.
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