Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Treadmill Helps Parkinson's Patients Walk Better

“However, it's unclear how long the benefits of treadmill training will last, or the best way to deliver this type of training to patients with the movement disorder, Dr. Jan Mehrholz of the Wissenschaftliches Institut in Kreischa, Germany and colleagues note. In Parkinson's disease, neurons producing dopamine, an important chemical messenger in the brain, die off, leading to movement problems, tremor and rigidity. Many Parkinson's patients have a characteristic shuffling gait, which can boost their risk of falls and fractures. Treadmill training has been used to help improve gait in Parkinson's patients, but more information is needed on its effectiveness and safety, Mehrholz and colleagues say. To investigate, they identified eight studies that compared treadmill training to no treadmill training in a total of 203 Parkinson's patients. Their analysis found that training significantly improved walking speed, stride length and walking distance. However, it did not improve the ‘cadence,’ or rhythm, of a patient's gait...

No comments: