Effectiveness of an intensive rehabilitation treatment on different Parkinson's disease subtypes

Giuseppe Frazzitta, Giovanni Abbruzzese, Gabriella Bertotti, Natalia Boveri, Gianni Pezzoli, Roberto Maestri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GOAL AND OBJECTIVES: Parkinsonian patients can be classified in two main subgroups: tremor dominant and akinetic-rigid. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether intensive rehabilitation treatment has the same efficacy in the two subtypes. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Patients were classified according to tremor: 65 patients with absence of tremor in 'on' and 'off' state were assigned to Group-1 and 65 patients with tremor were assigned to Group-2. All patients underwent a 4-week intensive multidisciplinary rehabilitation treatment. The primary outcome measures were: the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) II, III, UPDRS akinetic-rigid score and UPDRS tremor score. The secondary outcome measures were: the Berg Balance Scale, 6-minute walking test, self-assessment Parkinson's Disease Disability Scale, Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale, Freezing of Gait Questionnaire. RESULTS: Patients in Group-1 tended to be more affected than patients in Group-2 by dyskinesias (45% vs 29% p = 0.069) and freezing (46% vs 29%, p = 0.046). Levodopa-equivalent dosages were higher in Group-1 (802 vs 670 mg/day, p = 0.008). Considering the effect of rehabilitation, an homogeneous improvement was observed in all variables in both groups of patients (p <0.0001). CONCLUSION: Intensive rehabilitation treatment is effective in improving motor performance in both groups. The anatomical and biochemical differences existing between the two subgroups appear to not determine different clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)299-303
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • akinetic-rigid
  • Parkinson's disease
  • rehabilitation
  • tremor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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