BACKGROUND: to date, there are no medical or surgical treatments for progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). It is possible to speculate that patients with PSP could benefit from rehabilitative treatments designed for Parkinson's disease, including the use of robot-assisted walking training.
OBJECTIVE: to evaluate whether the use of the robotic device Lokomat® is superior in PSP patients to the use of treadmill with visual cues and auditory feedbacks (treadmill-plus) in the context of an aerobic, multidisciplinary, intensive, motor-cognitive and goal-based rehabilitation treatment (MIRT) conceived for Parkinsonian patients.
METHODS: we enrolled twenty-four PSP patients. Twelve subjects underwent a 4-week MIRT exploiting the use of the treadmill-plus (MIRT group). Twelve subjects underwent the same treatment, but replacing the treadmill-plus with Lokomat® (MIRT-Lokomat group). Subjects were evaluated with clinical and functional scales at admission and discharge. The primary outcomes were the total PSP Rating Scale (PSPRS) score and its "limb" and "gait" sub-scores. Secondary outcomes were Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Six Minutes Walking test (6MWT) and the number of falls.
RESULTS: total PSPRS, PSPRS-gait sub-score, BBS, 6MWT and number of falls improved significantly in both groups (p ≤ 0.003 all, except 6MWT, p = 0.032 and p = 0.018 in MIRT-Lokomat and MIRT group respectively). The PSPRS-limb sub-score improved significantly only in the MIRT group (p = 0.002). A significant difference between groups was observed only for total PSPRS, indicating a slightly better improvement for patients in the MIRT group (p = 0.047). No differences between groups were revealed for the other outcomes, indicating that the effect of rehabilitation was similar in both groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Lokomat® training, in comparison with treadmill-plus training, does not provide further benefits in PSP patients undergoing MIRT. Our findings suggest the usefulness of an aerobic, multidisciplinary, intensive, motor-cognitive and goal-based approach for the rehabilitation of patients suffering from such a complex disease as PSP.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: This trial was registered on ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02109393.
- Journal Article