In a nutshell
This study looked at the effects of long-term physiotherapy (6 months or more) on patients with Parkinson's disease. It found that patients doing long-term physiotherapy had fewer symptoms during the "off" medication phase, and needed lower doses of levodopa (Sinemet) to manage their symptoms compared to patients not doing physiotherapy.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurologic disorder that causes mainly movement problems such as tremors. Medication for PD involves levodopa–carbidopa combinations. However, in time these medications need higher doses and patients may experience worse symptoms between doses. These are called "Off" states. Physiotherapy is always recommended for patients with PD. However, it is not clear how effective it is in the long term.
Methods & findings
10 studies involving a total of 663 patients with PD were reviewed for this study.
5 of these studies (involving 408 patients) looked at the severity of symptoms during the "off" medication states in patients doing regular physiotherapy, compared to patients not doing physiotherapy. Patients doing regular physiotherapy had fewer symptoms during the "off" medication period than patients not doing physiotherapy.
5 studies (involving 294 patients) looked at the effect of physiotherapy on the dose of levodopa required by patients. Patients doing physiotherapy required lower doses of levodopa to manage their symptoms than patients not doing physiotherapy.
The bottom line
This study showed that long-term physiotherapy (6 months or longer) benefits patients with Parkinson's disease. It results in fewer symptoms during "off" medication state, and a lower required dose of medication.
The fine print
This study did not look at the different effects of different exercises. Further studies are needed to determine the best physical intervention for preventing the progression of Parkinson's symptoms.
Published By :
Journal of Parkinson’s disease
Aug 04, 2021
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