The effects of speed-dependent treadmill training and rhythmic auditory-cued overground walking on balance function, fall incidence, and quality of life in individuals with idiopathic Parkinson's disease: a randomized controlled trial.NeuroRehabilitation. 2014; 34(3):541-56.N
The purpose of this single-blinded, randomized controlled study was to examine and compare the immediate and retention effects of progressive speed-dependent treadmill training (SDTT) and rhythmic auditory-cued (RAC) training on balance function, fall incidence, and quality of life (QOL) in individuals with PD.
Twenty participants (mean age 66.1 yrs) with idiopathic PD were randomized into either SDTT (n = 10) or RAC (n = 10) progressive, interval-based locomotor training for 6 weeks. Measures included the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Rapid Step-Up Test (RST), Activities-specific Balance Confidence Scale, Parkinson's Disease Questionnaire-39 (PDQ), and the NeuroCom Sensory Organization Test (SOT), Motor Control Test, and Limits of Stability (LOS). Fall incidence was assessed prospectively post-training based on six monthly self-report fall calendars.
Significant gains in balance measures were observed post-training in BBS, RST and SOT for the RAC group and in RST, SOT and LOS for the SDTT group. Gains were retained at 3 months post-training in all measures for RAC group, but only the RST for the SDTT group. No clear trend in reduction in fall frequency was evident.
Externally-cued locomotor training paradigms with progressive speed challenges produced significant improvements in dynamic balance function in persons with PD, with stronger retention of gains in RAC group.