Rehabilitation and Parkinson's disease
Formisano R, Pratesi L, Modarelli FT, Bonifati V, Meco G.
Department of Neurological Sciences, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy
In this study we evaluated the efficacy of physical therapy together with drug therapy in a group of parkinsonian patients, compared with a group of patients treated using drug therapy only. The physical therapy program lasted four months and included passive and active mobilization exercises, adopted for postural control and equilibrium, walking and prevention of contractures and ankylosis. The assessment was accomplished by means of clinical rating scales and motor performance tests. Patients treated by means of physiotherapy showed an improvement at the end of the study in both clinical scales and motor performance tests. This improvement was noted in both patients with less severe and more severe symptoms as well as in those with shorter and longer disease duration. It is not easy to assess the role played by physical therapy due to the difficulty of an objective evaluation; our results, however, show an improvement in the functional performance of patients and suggest the usefulness of physical therapy associated with drug therapy in a comprehensive treatment for Parkinson's disease.
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