Affiliations: [a] School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milano Bicocca, Monza, Italy
| [b] Department of Neurology, AO Melegnano, Italy
Zucchi Clinical Istitute, Carate Brianza, Italy
Correspondence to: Cesare G. Cerri, School of Medicine and Surgery, University of Milan Bicocca, Via Cadore 48, Monza, Italy. Tel./Fax: +390362986447; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background and objective: Several studies suggest that general exercise (GE) and physical therapy programmes (PT) improve the outcomes of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients; however, the available data do not allow a determination of which treatment is more effective. Our study aims to compare the effects of physiotherapy and general exercise in Parkinson’s disease. Methods: Design and setting: Randomized controlled trial –general hospital outpatient clinic. The participants were patients with Hoehn Yahr stage II PD. Two randomized groups: one receiving PT and one receiving GE. The outcome measures were the FIM, Hamilton Rating Scale, TUG test, and UPDRS. Results: FIM median scores improved by 3 points in the PT group after treatment, and the improvements were maintained at follow-up. The GE FIM median scores were unchanged after treatment and were reduced by 1 point at follow-up (p < 0.05). The TUG test time was reduced in the PT group but increased in the GE group with a 3-second difference between groups at follow-up, suggesting improved functional mobility after specific physiotherapy (p < 0.05). The UPDRS median score change from baseline was significantly different between the two groups at the end of treatment (6.5 points) and at follow-up (11 points), with a benefit for the physiotherapy group. Conclusions: Physiotherapy seems to be more effective than a generic exercise programme in patients with Hoehn Yahr stage II PD.
Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, physiotherapy, general exercise, physical therapy modalities