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J Neuroeng Rehabil. 2018 Apr 10;15(1):31. doi: 10.1186/s12984-018-0375-x.

The feasibility and positive effects of a customised videogame rehabilitation programme for freezing of gait and falls in Parkinson's disease patients: a pilot study.

Author information

1
CNRS, UMR7225, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière, Sorbonne universités, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) Paris P6; UMRS 1127, 75013, Paris, France.
2
LabCom BRAIN e-NOVATION, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière (ICM), 75013, Paris, France.
3
Neurosurgery Department, Hôpital de la Salpêtrière, Groupe Hospitalier Pitié-Salpêtrière, APHP, 75013, Paris, France.
4
GENIOUS System, 92700, Colombes, France.
5
PANAM Platform, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, 75013, Paris, France.
6
CNRS, UMR7225, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière, Sorbonne universités, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) Paris P6; UMRS 1127, 75013, Paris, France. marielaure.welter@icm-institute.org.
7
LabCom BRAIN e-NOVATION, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière (ICM), 75013, Paris, France. marielaure.welter@icm-institute.org.
8
PANAM Platform, Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière, 75013, Paris, France. marielaure.welter@icm-institute.org.
9
Neurophysiology Department, Rouen University Hospital, Rouen-Normandie University, 76000, Rouen, France. marielaure.welter@icm-institute.org.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Freezing of gait and falls represent a major burden in patients with advanced forms of Parkinson's disease (PD). These axial motor signs are not fully alleviated by drug treatment or deep-brain stimulation. Recently, virtual reality has emerged as a rehabilitation option for these patients. In this pilot study, we aim to determine the feasibility and acceptability of rehabilitation with a customised videogame to treat gait and balance disorders in PD patients, and assess its effects on these disabling motor signs.

METHODS:

We developed a customised videogame displayed on a screen using the Kinect system. To play, the patient had to perform large amplitude and fast movements of all four limbs, pelvis and trunk, in response to visual and auditory cueing, to displace an avatar to collect coins and avoid obstacles to gain points. We tested ten patients with advanced forms of PD (median disease duration = 16.5 years) suffering from freezing of gait and/or falls (Hoehn&Yahr score ≥ 3) resistant to antiparkinsonian treatment and deep brain stimulation. Patients performed 18 training sessions during a 6-9 week period. We measured the feasibility and acceptability of our rehabilitation programme and its effects on parkinsonian disability, gait and balance disorders (with clinical scales and kinematics recordings), positive and negative affects, and quality of life, after the 9th and 18th training sessions and 3 months later.

RESULTS:

All patients completed the 18 training sessions with high feasibility, acceptability and satisfaction scores. After training, the freezing-of-gait questionnaire, gait-and-balance scale and axial score significantly decreased by 39, 38 and 41%, respectively, and the activity-balance confidence scale increased by 35%. Kinematic gait parameters also significantly improved with increased step length and gait velocity and decreased double-stance time. Three months after the final session, no significant change persisted except decreased axial score and increased step length and velocity.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study suggests that rehabilitation with a customised videogame to treat gait and balance disorders is feasible, well accepted, and effective in parkinsonian patients. These data serve as preliminary evidence for further larger and controlled studies to propose this customised videogame rehabilitation programme at home.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02469350 .

KEYWORDS:

Falls; Freezing of gait; Parkinson’s disease; Rehabilitation; Videogame

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