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Phys Ther. 2008 Dec;88(12):1460-73. doi: 10.2522/ptj.20070302. Epub 2008 Oct 23.

Balance and eye movement training to improve gait in people with progressive supranuclear palsy: quasi-randomized clinical trial.

Author information

1
Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, 22 S Greene St N4W46, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA. czampieri@som.umaryland.edu

Abstract

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE:

Although vertical gaze palsy and gait instability are cardinal features of progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), little research has been done to address oculomotor and gait rehabilitation for PSP. The purpose of this study was to compare the benefits of a program of balance training complemented with eye movement and visual awareness training versus balance training alone to rehabilitate gait in people with PSP.

PARTICIPANTS:

Nineteen people moderately affected by the disease were assigned to either a treatment group (balance plus eye movement exercises, n=10) or a comparison group (balance exercises only, n=9) in a quasi-random fashion.

METHODS:

The baseline characteristics assessed were diagnosis (possible versus probable), sex, age, time of symptom onset, dementia, and severity of symptoms. Within-group, between-group, and effect size analyses were performed on kinematic gait parameters (stance time, swing time, and step length) and clinical tests (8-ft [2.4-m] walk test and Timed "Up & Go" Test).

RESULTS:

The within-group analysis revealed significant improvements in stance time and walking speed for the treatment group, whereas the comparison group showed improvements in step length only. Moderate to large effects of the intervention were observed for the treatment group, and small effects were observed for the comparison group. The between-group analysis did not reveal significant changes for either group.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION:

These preliminary findings support the use of eye movement exercises as a complementary therapy for balance training in the rehabilitation of gait in people with PSP and moderate impairments. Additional studies powered at a higher level are needed to confirm these results.

PMID:
18948373
DOI:
10.2522/ptj.20070302
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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