Effects of 12 weeks of aerobic or strength training in addition to standard care in Parkinson's disease

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Demonceau M. et al.

Demonceau, M. et al. (2016) Effects of 12 weeks of aerobic or strength training in addition to standard care in Parkinson's disease.  European Journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine


BACKGROUND: Physical exercises in addition to standard care (SC) in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) are now common practice in many care units. However, exercises can cover a wide range of interventions, and the specific effects of different interventions still deserve to be further investigated.
AIM: To compare the effects of 12 weeks of two different types of physical exercises with SC in patients suffering from PD.
DESIGN: Pseudo-randomized controlled trial.
SETTING: University laboratory for outcomes, University Hospital Centre for interventions.
POPULATION: Fifty-two outpatients suffering from mild to moderate PD at baseline.
METHODS: Participants were allocated to 3 groups: the ST group performed individualized upper and lower limbs strength training, the AE group performed tailored gradual aerobic cycling, and the third group received SC. The effects of the interventions on body function were assessed by measuring isokinetic concentric peak torque for knee extension and flexion, peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and peak work load (PWL) during an incremental maximal cycling test. Changes in mobility were evaluated from spatial-temporal gait features measured by mean of an accelerometer system and the six-minute walk distance (6mwd) test. We used questionnaires to estimate health-related quality of life and habitual physical activity.
RESULTS: No significant changes in any outcome measures occurred in the SC group. More than 80% of the participants adequately completed the AE and the ST interventions. The ST group significantly improved all peak torque measures (p≤0.01), except knee extension in the least affected side (p=0.13). This group also improved the PWL (p=0.009) and 6mwd (p=0.03). The AE group improved the VO2peak (p=0.02) and PWL (p<0.001).
CONCLUSION: Physical fitness in patients with PD rapidly improved in compliance with training specificities, but better fitness hardly translated into better mobility and health-related quality of life.
CLINICAL REHABILITATION IMPACT: Physiotherapists can efficiently propose physical conditioning to patients with mild to moderate PD, but these interventions are insufficient to improve gait and participation. Notwithstanding, ST is an efficient intervention for improving walking capacity.

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European Journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine