Long-term effects of coordinative training in degenerative cerebellar disease

Authors

  • Winfried Ilg PhD,

    1. Department of Cognitive Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, and Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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  • Doris Brötz PT,

    1. Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, MEG Center, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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  • Susanne Burkard PT,

    1. Therapy Centre, Centre of Neurology, University Clinic Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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  • Martin A. Giese PhD,

    1. Department of Cognitive Neurology, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, and Werner Reichardt Centre for Integrative Neuroscience, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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  • Ludger Schöls MD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Neurodegeneration, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, and German Research Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
    • Clinical Neurogenetics, Department of Neurology and Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, Hoppe-Seyler Str. 3, 72076 Tübingen, Germany
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  • Matthis Synofzik MD

    1. Department of Neurodegeneration, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research, and German Research Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany
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  • Potential conflict of interest: Nothing to report.

Abstract

Few clinical studies have evaluated physiotherapeutic interventions for patients with degenerative cerebellar disease. In particular, evidence for long-term effects and transfer to activities of daily life is rare. We have recently shown that coordinative training leads to short-term improvements in motor performance. To evaluate long-term benefits and translation to real world function, we here assessed motor performance and achievements in activities of daily life 1 year after a 4 week intensive coordinative training, which was followed by a home training program. Effects were assessed by clinical rating scales, a goal attainment score and quantitative movement analysis. Despite gradual decline of motor performance and gradual increase of ataxia symptoms due to progression of disease after 1 year, improvements in motor performance and achievements in activities of daily life persisted. Thus, also in patients with degenerative cerebellar disease, continuous coordinative training leads to long-term improvements, which translate to real world function. © 2010 Movement Disorder Society

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