In a nutshell
This study investigated the effectiveness of balance training with and without auditory cues (AC) in Parkinson's disease (PD). Researchers suggested that balance training with AC improves the effectiveness of treatment.
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic disease of the brain. Brain cells are affected and lose their abilities. This causes symptoms such as muscle weakness and impaired balance. Impaired balance is common in patients with PD. This results in falls and fall-related injuries. Because conventional treatment with medication has a limited effect on these symptoms, non-medication therapies are necessary.
It is known that physiotherapy improves balance impairments in these patients. Moreover, auditory cues (ACs; sound signal) have a positive effect on walking speed, stride length and rhythm of gait (walking). However, it is not known if adding AC to physiotherapy improves the treatment outcomes in patients with PD and loss of balance.
Methods & findings
This study included information about 154 patients with PD and impaired balance. Patients were assigned to receive physiotherapy with AC (group 1; 56), physiotherapy without AC (group 2; 50) or conventional therapy (group 3; 48). Training was performed for 5 weeks, two times per week.
Immediately after the trial started the treatment given to group 1 showed better outcomes. Both groups 1 and 2 had improved balance at 1-month follow-up compared to group 3. However, only group 1 maintained these improvements at 6 months.
The bottom line
This study concluded that physiotherapy combined with AC improves balance treatment outcomes in patients with Parkinson's disease.
The fine print
This study only included patients with mild to moderate PD. Further studies with more advanced disease are necessary.
Published By :
Journal of Parkinson’s disease
Dec 23, 2019
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