Effectiveness of intensive inpatient rehabilitation treatment on disease progression in parkinsonian patients: A randomized controlled trial with 1-year follow-up

Giuseppe Frazzitta, Gabriella Bertotti, Giulio Riboldazzi, Marinella Turla, Davide Uccellini, Natalia Boveri, Gabriele Guaglio, Michele Perini, Cristoforo Comi, Pietro Balbi, Roberto Maestri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background. Rehabilitation treatments have acute beneficial effects in Parkinson's disease (PD) patients, but whether the effects persist over time is unclear. Objective. To assess whether an intensive rehabilitation treatment (IRT) is effective in improving motor performance compared with a control group in a 12-month follow-up, to investigate whether a second cycle administered after 1 year has the same efficacy as the first treatment, and to determine whether IRT reduces the need for increasing levodopa dosage. Methods. A total of 50 PD patients were randomly assigned to 2 groups; 25 participants had 4 weeks of inpatient physical therapy that included treadmill and stabilometric platform training. At discharge, these patients were invited to continue doing the learned exercises. After 12 months, the same treatment was repeated. The control group of 25 patients received only pharmacological treatment and was invited to practice generic physical exercise at home. The rating scales used for the clinical evaluation were the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Sections II and III (UPDRS II and III) and total (UPDRS tot). Results. The authors found that the beneficial effects of IRT persisted over time. A second rehabilitation cycle administered after 1 year was as effective as the first treatment. At the end of the study, daily medication dosage was reduced in treated patients, whereas it was significantly increased in control patients. Conclusion. These findings suggest that the natural worsening of symptoms associated with PD can be effectively counteracted by a properly designed IRT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalNeurorehabilitation and Neural Repair
Volume26
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

Keywords

  • Follow-up
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Rehabilitation
  • Neurology

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