The effects of incremental speed-dependent treadmill training on postural instability and fear of falling in Parkinson’s disease.

Cakit BD, Saracoglu M, Genc H, Erdem HR, Inan L

The purpose of this study was to detect the effectiveness of incremental speed-dependent treadmill training on postural instability, dynamic balance and fear of falling in patients with idiopathic Parkinson's disease. 21 patients with Parkinson's disease participated in an eight-week exercise programme using incremental speed-dependent treadmill training. Before and after the training programme, balance, gait, fear of falling and walking distance and speed on treadmill were assessed in training and control groups.  Initial total walking distance of the training group on treadmill was 266.45 +/- 82.14 m and this was progressively increased to 726.36 +/- 93.1 m after 16 training sessions. Tolerated maximum speed of the training group on treadmill at baseline was 1.9 +/- 0.75 km/h and improved to 2.61 +/- 0.77 km/h. Berg Balance Test, Dynamic Gait Index and Falls Efficacy Scale scores of the training group were improved significantly after the training programme. There was no significant improvement in any of the outcome measurements in the control group. This study shows that specific exercise programmes using incremental speed-dependent treadmill training may improve mobility, reduce postural instability and fear of falling in patients with Parkinson's disease.

Clinical Rehabilitation, 2007, 21(8), 698-705

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