In a nutshell
This study compared the effectiveness of visual or auditory stimuli on gait of patients with Parkinson´s disease (PD). Researchers suggested that auditory cueing improved gait disorders in PD patients.
PD is caused by the loss of specific brain cells. The symptoms can range from tremors to muscle rigidity and impaired gait (manner of walking). Symptoms associated with gait impairment are reduced step length, freezing of gait and reduced speed. There are several therapies used to treat PD. However, these therapies have a limited effect on gait. Furthermore, over time, these medications become less effective and may even worsen gait.
Cueing refers to an external auditory or visual stimulus that can be used as therapy to regulate movement. Prior studies showed that auditory cueing, such as music, improves velocity. Moreover, visual cues such as laser pointers or glasses are also associated with improved gait.
Both types of cueing have shown to help in treating gait symptoms. However, it is not clear which cueing, or combination of cues, is the best therapy.
Methods & findings
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of visual and auditory cues in the treatment of gait symptoms. This study reviewed 28 other studies with information on 718 PD patients. Gait measures of cadence (rhythm), step length and velocity before and after cueing were collected from each study.
Auditory cueing showed improved cadence, step length and velocity, whereas visual cueing only improved step length.
The bottom line
This study determined that auditory cueing is more effective for treating gait disorders when compared to visual cueing.
Published By :
Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation
Mar 01, 2013
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