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Light and heavy touch reduces postural sway and modifies axial tone in Parkinson's disease.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

Light touch with a stable object reduces postural sway by increasing axial postural tone in healthy subjects. However, it is unknown whether subjects with Parkinson's disease (PD), who have more postural sway and higher axial postural tone than healthy subjects, can benefit from haptic touch.

OBJECTIVE

To investigate the effect of light and heavy touch on postural stability and hip tone in subjects with PD.

METHODS

Fourteen subjects with mid-stage PD and 14 healthy control subjects were evaluated during quiet standing with eyes closed with their arms (a) crossed, (b) lightly touching a fixed rigid bar in front of them, and (c) firmly gripping the bar. Postural sway was measured with a forceplate, and axial hip tone was quantified using a unique device that measures the resistance of the hips to yaw rotation while maintaining active stance.

RESULTS

Subjects with PD significantly decreased their postural sway with light or heavy touch (P < .001 vs arms crossed), similarly as control subjects. Without touch, hip tone was larger in PD subjects. With touch, however, tone values were similar in both groups. This change in hip tone with touch was highly correlated with the initial amount of tone (PD, r = -.72 to -.95; controls, r = -.74 to -.85).

CONCLUSIONS

The authors showed, for the first time, that subjects with PD benefit from touch similarly to control subjects and that despite higher axial postural tone, PD subjects are able to modulate their tone with touch. Future studies should investigate the complex relationship between touch and postural tone.

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    ,

    Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA. erika.franzen@ki.se

    , ,

    Source

    Neurorehabilitation and neural repair 26:8 2012 Oct pg 1007-14

    MeSH

    Activities of Daily Living
    Aged
    Analysis of Variance
    Dopamine Agents
    Hand Strength
    Hip
    Humans
    Levodopa
    Male
    Middle Aged
    Parkinson Disease
    Physical Therapy Modalities
    Postural Balance
    Posture
    Pressure
    Sensation Disorders
    Severity of Illness Index
    Torque
    Touch

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22415944