Behavioral treatment of Parkinson's disease leads to improvement of motor skills and to tremor reduction

Bettina Mohr, Viktor Müller, Regina Mattes, Regina Rosin, Barbara Federmann, Ute Strehl, Friedemann Pulvermüller, Friedemann Müller, Werner Lutzenberger, Niels Birbaumer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effects of psychological treatment of idiopathic Parkinson's Disease (PD) were investigated. Behavioral treatment focusing on control of motor activity was compared to a nonspecific psychological treatment. Patients were randomly assigned to 2 treatment groups with 20 patients in the behavioral group and 21 patients in the control group. The 2 groups were equivalent for age, demographic variables, and duration and severity of the illness. Twenty treatment sessions were held over a period of 10 weeks. Behavioral change was assessed by the Motor Performance Test Series (MPS), the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) and by a psychologist's ratings and the patients' self-reports. Unspecific treatment effects were controlled by using several questionnaire measures. Results indicated that only behavioral treatment was effective in reducing tremor and in improving manual dexterity. We conclude that behavioral treatment is an effective supplement to traditional medical treatment with L-Dopa for improving motor performance and reducing tremor in Parkinson's disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)235-255
Number of pages21
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Clinical Psychology


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