Functional exercise capacity, strength, balance and motion reaction time in Barth syndrome

Brittany Hornby, Rebecca McClellan, Lucy Buckley, Kimberley Carson, Tiffany Gooding, Hilary J. Vernon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Barth syndrome (BTHS) is an X-linked disorder caused by defects in TAZ with key clinical features including cardiomyopathy, neutropenia and skeletal myopathy. In order to gain a better understanding of the range of clinical features, identify targets for monitoring, and increase knowledge of natural history of the disease, we conducted muscle strength testing, functional exercise capacity testing, physical activity assessment, balance assessment and motion reaction time testing in 33 affected individuals and 14 controls. We analyzed data points to provide a cross-sectional quantitative spectrum of disease characteristics. We also compared these data points to the matched data points collected two years prior to provide insight into effects of BTHS over time. Results: In comparison to controls, pediatric subjects with BTHS present with significantly impaired balance and motion reaction time while adult subjects with BTHS present with significantly impaired motion reaction time. In comparison to controls, subjects with BTHS presented with decreased functional exercise capacity (assessed via 6 MWT), knee extensor strength (both assessed via handheld dynamometry and five times sit-to-stand (5 TSTS)), and self-reported physical activity. Comparison of functional exercise capacity, knee extensor strength and self-reported physical activity from identical cohorts in 2014 and 2016 BTHS showed that the deficits in 6 MWT do not change significantly over the 2 year time span. Conclusion: In this comprehensive assessment of musculoskeletal parameters in a cross-section of individuals with BTHS, we uncovered deficits in motion reaction time and balance, which were previously not known to be abnormal in in BTHS. We also confirmed results of our previous study showing that pediatric and adult subjects with BTHS have decreased functional exercise capacity, knee extensor strength, and physical activity in comparison to controls, r, verifying the importance of including these measures as part of the regular clinical assessment in individuals with BTHS, as well as introducing 5 TSTS as an additional testing parameter. Perhaps most importantly, we demonstrated that 6 MWT results do not significantly vary in pediatric and adult cohorts with BTHS over a 2-year period, supporting this as a reliable quantitative measure of therapeutic outcomes in clinical studies and for clinical monitoring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number37
JournalOrphanet journal of rare diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 11 2019


  • 6-min walk test
  • Barth syndrome
  • Myopathy
  • SWAY balance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics(clinical)
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Functional exercise capacity, strength, balance and motion reaction time in Barth syndrome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this