Affiliations: [a] Unit of Neurorehabilitation, Department of Medical Specialties, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
| [b] Unit of Neurology, Department of Medical Specialties, University Hospital of Pisa, Pisa, Italy
Corresponding author: Carmelo Chisari, Unit of Neurorehabilitation, Department of Medical Specialties, University Hospital of Pisa, via Paradisa 2, 56124, Pisa, Italy. Tel.: +39050996907; Fax: +39050995723;E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: Background:Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is characterized by progressive and disabling symptoms. An impaired oxidative metabolism efficiency was supposed to be involved in the systemic impairment. Rehabilitative treatment represents a valid tool in promoting skeletal muscle’s adaptations, even if no solid studies on muscle metabolic features are still available. Objective:To evaluate the efficiency of skeletal muscle oxidative metabolism in PD patients in comparison with age-matched controls and test the role of an intensive aerobic treatment on muscle oxidative metabolism and its clinical effects. Methods:60 PD patients and 32 age-matched healthy controls participated. Haematic lactate values were detected during and after a submaximal incremental exercise on treadmill. The number of steps completed during the exercise was recorded. From these patients 10 underwent to an intensive aerobic treatment on treadmill (4 sessions/week for 4 weeks). Haematic lactate values and functional scales were recorded before (T0) and after (T1) treatment. Results:At rest no significant difference in hematic lactate values between PD and control subjects was found. Lactate blood levels were significantly higher (p < 0,001) after the aerobic exercise test in PD patients compared to controls. These values remained higher at any time during recovery period (p < 0,001). No significant relationship between lactate values and the number of completed steps was found. After the rehabilitation treatment haematic value of lactate showed a significant reduction (p < 0,05) at 0, 5 and 10 minutes of recovery period with a normalization of value at 30’. All functional scales showed an improvement trend at T1, in particular Berg Balance Scale and 6 Meter Walking Test showed a significant reduction (p < 0,001 and p < 0,05 respectively). Conclusion:Our data clearly show an impaired muscle oxidative efficiency in PD subjects. The intensive rehabilitation program on treadmill showed a beneficial effect on muscle oxidative metabolism, endurance and balance, confirming the focal role of rehabilitation in PD patients.