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Keywords:

  • Parkinson's disease;
  • progressive resistance exercise;
  • strength training;
  • randomized controlled trial;
  • Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale motor subscale

ABSTRACT

The effects of progressive resistance exercise (PRE) on the motor signs of Parkinson's disease have not been studied in controlled trials. The objective of the current trial was to compare 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-month outcomes of patients with Parkinson's disease who received PRE with a stretching, balance, and strengthening exercise program. The authors conducted a randomized controlled trial between September 2007 and July 2011. Pairs of patients matched by sex and off-medication scores on the Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale, motor subscale (UPDRS-III), were randomly assigned to the interventions with a 1:1 allocation ratio. The PRE group performed a weight-lifting program. The modified fitness counts (mFC) group performed a stretching, balance, and strengthening exercise program. Patients exercised 2 days per week for 24 months at a gym. A personal trainer directed both weekly sessions for the first 6 months and 1 weekly session after 6 months. The primary outcome was the off-medication UPDRS-III score. Patients were followed for 24 months at 6-month intervals. Of 51 patients, 20 in the PRE group and 18 in the mFC group completed the trial. At 24 months, the mean off-medication UPDRS-III score decreased more with PRE than with mFC (mean difference, −7.3 points; 95% confidence interval, −11.3 to −3.6; P<0.001). The PRE group had 10 adverse events, and the mFC group had 7 adverse events. PRE demonstrated a statistically and clinically significant reduction in UPDRS-III scores compared with mFC and is recommended as a useful adjunct therapy to improve Parkinsonian motor signs. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society