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Comparison of strength training, aerobic training, and additional physical therapy as supplementary treatments for Parkinson’s disease: pilot study

Authors Carvalho A, Barbirato D, Araujo N, Martins J, Cavalcanti J, Santos T, Coutinho E, Laks J, Deslandes A

Received 3 June 2014

Accepted for publication 11 July 2014

Published 7 January 2015 Volume 2015:10 Pages 183—191

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S68779

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Alessandro Carvalho,1,2 Dannyel Barbirato,1 Narahyana Araujo,1 Jose Vicente Martins,3 Jose Luiz Sá Cavalcanti,3 Tony Meireles Santos,4 Evandro S Coutinho,5 Jerson Laks,1,2 Andrea C Deslandes1

1Centro de Doença de Alzheimer e Outros Transtornos da Velhice, Instituto de Psiquiatria, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 2Centro de Estudo de Pesquisa do Envelhecimento, Instituto Vital Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 3Instituto de Neurologia Deolindo Couto, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 4Departamento de Educação Física da Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, Pernambuco, Brazil; 5Departamento de Epidemiologia e Métodos Quantitativos em Saúde. Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública-FIOCRUZ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Introduction: Physical rehabilitation is commonly used in patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD) to improve their health and alleviate the symptoms.
Objective: We compared the effects of three programs, strength training (ST), aerobic training (AT), and physiotherapy, on motor symptoms, functional capacity, and electroencephalographic (EEG) activity in PD patients.
Methods: Twenty-two patients were recruited and randomized into three groups: AT (70% of maximum heart rate), ST (80% of one repetition maximum), and physiotherapy (in groups). Subjects participated in their respective interventions twice a week for 12 weeks. The assessments included measures of disease symptoms (Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale [UPDRS]), functional capacity (Senior Fitness Test), and EEG before and after 12 weeks of intervention.
Results: The PD motor symptoms (UPDRS-III) in the group of patients who performed ST and AT improved by 27.5% (effect size [ES]=1.25, confidence interval [CI]=-0.11, 2.25) and 35% (ES=1.34, CI=-0.16, 2.58), respectively, in contrast to the physiotherapy group, which showed a 2.9% improvement (ES=0.07, CI=-0.85, 0.99). Furthermore, the functional capacity of all three groups improved after the intervention. The mean frequency of the EEG analysis mainly showed the effect of the interventions on the groups (F=11.50, P=0.0001).
Conclusion: ST and AT in patients with PD are associated with improved outcomes in disease symptoms and functional capacity.

Keywords: Parkinson’s disease, physical exercise, physical therapy, quality of life, functional capacity

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