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Posted by on Aug 28, 2019 in Parkinson's Disease | 0 comments

In a nutshell

This study investigated the effectiveness of a 5-week rehabilitation program for patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Researchers suggested that these patients had an improvement in their physical condition.

Some background

PD is a chronic disease that affects brain cells. These cells are responsible for controlling body movements and function. Losing these abilities causes symptoms such as muscle weakness or impaired balance.

It has been suggested that physical therapy is associated with better symptom outcomes. It is also associated with a greater quality of life and physical capacity. It also improves the gait (walking) and balance, reducing the risk of falls. However, the effectiveness of this program after 12 months remains unclear.

Methods & findings

This study included 135 patients with mild to moderate PD. These patients underwent a 5-week therapy program. The program consisted in 20 minutes of warm-up, followed by 8 5-minute exercise and 10 minutes of stretching and cool down. Gait, movement, mental and social benefits were measured before the treatment, at 6 weeks and 12 months.

At 6 weeks improvements were seen in physical capacity, gait and quality of life. The number of falls was reduced from 66% to 33%. Patients that did not exercise were 3.39 times more at risk of a fall. This was also associated with poorer balance and mental/social outcomes at 12 months.

The bottom line

This study concluded that a 5-week therapy program was associated with an improvement in physical symptoms in patients with PD.  

The fine print

This study did not have a control group using a different therapy method. This might limit the results. Further studies are needed. 

Published By :

Australasian journal on ageing

Date :

Jul 25, 2019

Original Title :

Functional outcomes of an integrated Parkinson’s Disease Wellbeing Program.

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