Robotic gait training is not superior to conventional treadmill training in parkinson disease: a single-blind randomized controlled trial.Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2012 Nov-Dec; 26(9):1027-34.NN
The use of robots for gait training in Parkinson disease (PD) is growing, but no evidence points to an advantage over the standard treadmill.
In this randomized, single-blind controlled trial, participants aged <75 years with early-stage PD (Hoehn-Yahr <3) were randomly allocated to 2 groups: either 30 minutes of gait training on a treadmill or in the Lokomat for 3 d/wk for 4 weeks. Patients were evaluated by a physical therapist blinded to allocation before and at the end of treatment and then at the 3- and 6-month follow-up. The primary outcome measure was the 6-minute walk test.
Of 334 screened patients, the authors randomly allocated 30 to receive gait training with treadmill or the Lokomat. At baseline, the 2 groups did not differ. At the 6-month follow-up, both groups had improved significantly in the primary outcome measure (treadmill: mean = 490.95 m, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 448.56-533.34, P = .0006; Lokomat: 458.6 m, 95% CI = 417.23-499.96, P = .01), but no significant differences were found between the 2 groups (P = .53).
Robotic gait training with the Lokomat is not superior to treadmill training in improving gait performance in patients with PD. Both approaches are safe, with results maintained for up to 6 months.