Six weeks of intensive treadmill training improves gait and quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease: a pilot study.

Herman T, Giladi N, Gruendlinger L, Hausdorff JM

The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of 6 weeks of intensive treadmill training on gait rhythmicity, functional mobility, and quality of life (QOL) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). Nine patients with PD who were able to ambulate independently and were not demented took part. Participants walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes during each training session, 4 training sessions a week, for 6 weeks. Once a week, usual overground walking speed was re-evaluated and the treadmill speed was adjusted accordingly. A comparison of measures taken before and after the treadmill intervention indicated general improvement. The authors concluded that the results showed the potential to enhance gait rhythmicity in patients with PD and suggested that a progressive and intensive treadmill training program could be used to minimize impairments in gait, reduce fall risk, and increase QOL in these patients.

Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2007, 88(9), 1154-8

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