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Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2015 Feb;29(2):123-31. doi: 10.1177/1545968314542981. Epub 2014 Jul 18.

Intensive rehabilitation treatment in early Parkinson's disease: a randomized pilot study with a 2-year follow-up.

Author information

1
"Moriggia-Pelascini" Hospital, Gravedona ed Uniti, Italy Fondazione Europea Ricerca Biomedica FERB, "S. Isidoro" Hospital, Trescore Balneario, Italy frazzittag62@gmail.com.
2
Scientific Institute of Montescano, S. Maugeri Foundation IRCCS, Montescano, Italy.
3
Macchi Foundation, Varese and Department of Rehabilitation, "Le Terrazze" Hospital, Cunardo, Italy.
4
Gallarate Hospital, Gallarate, Italy.
5
Tradate Hospital, Tradate, Italy.
6
Valle Camonica Hospital, Esine, Italy.
7
University of the Eastern Piedmont, Novara, Italy.
8
Parkinson Institute, Istituti Clinici di Perfezionamento, Milan, Italy.
9
City University of New York Medical School, New York, NY, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although physical exercise improves motor aspects of Parkinson's disease (PD), it is not clear whether it may also have a neuroprotective effect. Objective. In this 2-year follow-up study, we determined whether intensive exercise in the early stages of the disease slows down PD progression.

METHODS:

Forty newly diagnosed patients with PD were treated with rasagiline and randomly assigned to 2 groups: MIRT Group (two 28-day multidisciplinary intensive rehabilitation treatments [MIRT], at 1-year interval) and Control Group (only drug). In both groups, Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale Section II (UPDRS II), UPDRS III, 6-minute walking test (6MWT), Timed Up-and-Go test (TUG); PD Disability Scale (PDDS), and l-dopa equivalents were assessed at baseline (T0), 6 months (T1), 1 year (T2), 18 months (T3), and 2 years (T4) later.

RESULTS:

Over 2 years, UPDRS II, UPDRS III, TUG, and PDDS differentially progressed in the 2 groups: In the MIRT Group, all scores at T4 were better than at T0 (all Ps < .03). No changes were noted in the Control Group. l-dopa equivalent dosages increased significantly only in the Control Group (P = .0015), with a decrease in the percentages of patients in monotherapy (T1 40%; T2, T3, and T4 20%). In the MIRT Group, the percentages of such patients remained higher (T1 and T2 100%; T3 89%; T4 75%).

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest that MIRT might slow down the progression of motor decay, it might delay the need for increasing drug treatment, and thus, it might have a neuroprotective effect.

KEYWORDS:

Parkinson’s disease; neuroplasticity; rehabilitation

PMID:
25038064
DOI:
10.1177/1545968314542981
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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